Anti-Choice Activist Shot, Killed in Owosso, Michigan


Editor’s note: Update as of 3:11pm EST: According to the New York Times, the suspect in custody cited displeasure with Pouillon’s protests in front of children at the school where he was shot and killed. Still, however, investigators have not cited a reason for the murder of the second victim, the owner of a local gravel-pit.

The Flint Journal is reporting that well known Owosso-based anti-abortion activist James Pouillion, 63, has been shot to death in front of Owosso High School. The shooting happened at approximately 7:30 a.m.

Police have said they do not know if Pouillion’s murder was connected to his activism, reports the Lansing State Journal.

Susan Wooden, interim superintendent of the Owosso schools, told the State Journal that Pouillion was a regular off and on protestor at the school. She said the district has long worried about the potential for violence as a result of his protests.

“We had spoken to the gentleman before and insisted that he be off the school property with his message,” Wooden said. She said the victim had been picketing this morning just off school property before the incident.

In addition, a second homicide was discovered shortly after the Pouillion murder. WLNS, the Lansing CBS affiliate, reports police have confirmed the two homicides are connected and that they have a suspect in custody.

The shooting in this rural Shiawassee county town resulted in a lock down of the school, which has since been lifted.

The Flint Journal reports that the activist has had several incidents with police and city officials.

Pouillon was arrested in 1994 for disorderly conduct, in a case where he allegedly harassed parents as they took their children to day care at First Congregational Church in Owosso.

In a 2003 Flint Journal report of the case, Pouillon said that he targeted the church because it had hosted a 25th anniversary celebration for the local Planned Parenthood office.

At the time, Pouillon said he urged parents escorting children, “Don’t take your kids to that church. They kill babies in there. They support abortion.”

The 1994 police report indicated Pouillon was screaming at pre-school children and their mothers but Pouillon said he and a church member were shouting only because they stood hundreds of feet apart.

The state Supreme Court ordered the state Court of Appeals to rule on the case, which overturned Pouillon’s conviction in 2003.

He is said to have traveled to both Flint and Saginaw to pray outside abortion clinics and was supposed to be present at a clinic in Flint today.

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  • larry-j

    It’s possible that this is a case of pro-choice terrorism!

  • gabbyhayes

    It’s too soon to speculate, and let’s–please–take a moment to remember that two lives were lost here in the mindless pursuit of turning women into chattel. It’s a tragedy from every angle. Since I am sure the loss of life will be given short shrift by the so-called pro-life advocates (showing once again that they care nothing for life), those who truly value life–those who are pro-choice–will take up the torch.

  • amie-newman

    political perspectives, activism or police record there is no excuse for his murder. However, as the previous commenter noted, there is no evidence to support the conclusion that his killing – or the killing of the other man – was politically motivated.

    RH Reality Check, as Jodi notes,  condemns the use of violence and this is certainly a tragedy. We will monitor the story as information and facts are uncovered. 

    Amie Newman

    Managing Editor, RH Reality Check

  • larry-j

    Yadda yadda yadda.

     

    "those who truly value life–those who are pro-choice"

     

    Like the motorist who (according to court documents from 2000) swerved onto the sidewalk and drove at him while he was protesting?  Mind you, this is a man who needs to carry an oxygen tank, wears braces on his legs and uses a walker.  It’s not like he could jump out of the way of an oncoming car!

  • kw114

    The hypocrisy never ceases to amaze me. It is a tragedy every single time someone dies. But the fact that all we heard post-Tiller was about how savage and terrible of a person his shooter was (and what he did to Tiller was absolutely terrible), why isn’t the same being said of the killer here? Instead, the story outlines the victim’s history as if to legitimize this crime, as a way to say he had it coming.

    It has already become evident that pro-choicers are more concerned with about the death of any abortionist (good fundraising tool, isn’t it Planned Parenthood?) and ensuring the death of unborn babies more than they care about anyone else having to die. Because if they did, they would be just as red-faced over this heinous crime, denouncing the actions of killer.

    So, why aren’t they?

  • amanda-marcotte

    That a murderer is savage.  The only reason that it had to be emphasized in the Tiller situation is that anti-choice activists were celebrating the murder, even as they were pulling phony faces and pretending to condemn it.

     

    I’m curious to find out who did this.

  • larry-j

    New York Times headline:

    Man Killed Over Anti-Abortion Stance

    Prosecutors said the suspect, who is 33, targeted Mr. Pouillon because he disapproved of the victim’s protests in front of children at the school. “There was some displeasur…e with how open he was,” said Sara Edwards, the chief assistant prosecutor for Shiawassee County. “He tended to carry big signs with very graphic pictures of fetuses.”

  • gabbyhayes

    you seem to be implying that the morons in the car were pro-choice. Unlikely. I’ve had cars come up on the sidewalk at me because I was wearing a Navy uniform. It’s something kids do to scare people. Obviously he couldn’t jump out of the way, so the car swerved back to the street, demonstrating that the driver never intended to hit the crippled old man any more than they intended to hit the young sailor. Pro-choice people value life. Anti-choice people kill people. It’s a difficult fact to own up to, but your recovery will begin that moment.

  • jodi-jacobson

    Cause the one I find on the NYT site is this:

    Anti-Abortion Protester Shot to Death

    Very different.

    The Times further says:

    Officials are investigating whether Mr. Pouillon, who had been involved in anti-abortion efforts for decades, was singled out because of those views. Local newspapers reported that he had been carrying photographs of fetuses outside the school shortly before the shooting.

    We know he was an anti-choice advocate. We also know that the suspect is thought to have killed another man the same day whose relatives say had nothing
    to do with the anti-choice movement.

    I have been on the phone with reporters working in Michigan and they are telling me there is not as yet enough evidence to even charge the guy they have in custody much less confirm a motive.

    We have condemned the shooting of Mr. Pouillon, irrespective of his views, as we condone any such violence.  But at this moment there is no evidence this is part of a larger movement or even what the motive was of his killer.  

    Let’s keep our fact straight as we know them, Larry, and not anticipate facts until they are confirmed.

     

  • gabbyhayes

    People who murder are generally victims themselves. They’ve been lied to, they’ve been abused. A huge number of people in prison were beaten. Most women in prison who killed their husbands did so on the expectation that their husbands would kill them and they acted in self defense. Or to defend the children, like this alleged murderer did.

  • larry-j

    Don’t get cute with me Jodi.  You know exactly where that headline came from.  Talk to the ombudsman at NYT, and don’t be so sure of yourself next time.

  • larry-j

    Anti-choice people take 1.2 million human lives every year in the United States alone.  Furthermore, the driver attempted to run him down because he was protesting abortion, so I doubt that he was pro-life.

  • jodi-jacobson

    I provided a link to the story.

     

    Where is yours?

  • larry-j

    Also, I wasn’t saying that it was part of a larger movement.  If you mean the Maddow thing, I was making fun of her outrageous propoganda.  When Tiller was killed by a nutcase she cried ‘terrorism’.  I was just suggesting that she be consistent and do it now too.

  • larry-j

    Are you talking about the man who murdered Tiller?  He certainly would claim that he was saving children.  How is killing a protester saving children?  That doesn’t even make any damn sense.

  • jodi-jacobson

    whether domestic or international.

     

    Until you can prove widespread connections to, ongoing monitoring, harassment and other indicators that this was a terrorist act, it isn’t.

  • larry-j

    It’s the same story JODI.  It’s the same link JODI.  That’s why I suggested you talk to the ombudsman about it and not jump to conclusions that you’ll regret later.

  • jodi-jacobson

    so you must have your own special system.

  • larry-j

    Criminy! I’m not saying it was terrorism.  I’m saying that calling it terrorism in both cases is hyperbolic flummery.

  • amie-newman

    the reason we inquired is because the New York Times article is titled, in fact, "Anti-Abortion Protestor Shot to Death". When you google the headline you provide, however, it does pop up. But when you click on the link, the headline in fact changes on the New York Times web site. It was an honest question and, as well, an attempt to get to a place where, instead of using this man’s murder as an opportunity to point fingers and start screaming about pro-choice violence, we collect all of the facts and information first. 

    If this is a case of a man being murdered because of his choice to engage in political activism – something he has every right to do in this country – we will cover it from that angle. Again, RH Reality Check 100% condemns and deplores violence of any kind in the name of political action around women’s health and rights. This is a terrible tragedy and will do all we can to cover this story in the best way we can – with facts and information and truth. 

    Amie Newman

    Managing Editor, RH Reality Check

  • crowepps

    I might believe this man to have been misguided (protesting with graphic signs outside daycares and schools?), but in America people should be able to express their opinions without being killed – no matter how stupidly they go about it. I’m sure over the years there were a lot of parents, even ProLife ones, who were offended and enraged by this man’s methods but up till now everyone understood that this man’s assault on the mental health of existing children in order to ‘save’ potential children didn’t entitle them to assassinate him.

     

    Larry, I hope I’m wrong, but your series of posts here seem to imply that you believe that a motivation of “saving children” entitles a private citizen to do anything whatsoever. The problem is, once the idea spreads that private citizens have a right to judge and condemn each other, there isn’t anything to prevent people with different ideas than yours from deciding they have the right to judge and condemn and execute YOU, justifying it in their own minds by, for instance, “saving women”.

     

    The ends do NOT justify the means. Using that argument instead licenses EVERYONE involved in the dispute to insist that THEIR ends justify anything they want to do by way of retaliation. Unless we want a country where homicidal loons and vendettas settle political and moral questions, the idea that assassination is justified has to be absolutely barred no matter what the motivation of the shooter or the behavior of the person killed. There is NOTHING ProLife, or ProChoice, about murder.

  • amanda-marcotte

    That the murderer in this case doesn’t come from the organized pro-choice movement.  Every doctor shooter has come straight out of the organized anti-choice movement.  There’s more organization and conspiracy in the clinic shootings and bombings.  Eric Rudolph was able to hide for so long because people hid him.

     

    This appears to be a crime of opportunity, and there is no reason to think that the shooter was, like Scott Roeder was, getting assistance from others.  Remember, Roeder was using Operation Rescue for information on Dr. Tiller’s movements.

  • amanda-marcotte

    He was motivated by being irritated by the protester, and angry that he was targeting high school students.  Again, if this is true, then it’s much different than the premeditated abortion clinic bombings and shootings from people that come from within the organized anti-choice movement.

  • liberaldem

    I think it’s safe to say that everyone posting here deplores the killing of this man. He leaves family and friends who will mourn his death. Perhaps we can leave it at that.

  • larry-j

    The NYT article originally did have the headline which I stated.  Obviously, someone changed it.  Jodi seemed to be suggesting that I had claimed that the headline was something that it was not.  Now, she could have checked just like you did rather than suggest that I was somehow up to no good, but she didn’t.  I half suspected that she knew what had happened and was capitalizing on it. 

     

    It can hardly come as a shock that she and I distrust one another.  In fact, the only reason that I originally came to this site was to look at your coverage of the personhood movement (which I believe does not satisfy your own journalistic standards).  Looking at the rest of what is here, it seems as if much of it is merely propaganda (which I find very disappointing considering that RHRC seems to have a relationship with the UN).

     

    On the other hand, I don’t know who it is that you think is ‘screaming about pro-choice’ violence, unless you too are misunderstanding the Rachel Maddow comment (which I’ve already explained).  The reason that I made that comment was that after the Tiller murder there were cries of domestic terrorism- despite the fact that it was a killing committed by a lone nutjob.  I didn’t seriously suggest that this was terrorism.  I was suggesting that it was NOT terrorism any more than the Tiller murder was.  (Perhaps readers of RHRC are so invested in the idea that it WAS terrorism that they did not see that that was my point.) 

     

    Even within the context of what I thought was an obviously facetious commennt, I did write that it is "possible"- so even if one did think that I was serious, then I still wouldn’t have been screaming that it WAS pro-choice terrorism.

     

    LJ

  • larry-j

    Let me get this straight- if someone is part of the pro-life movement (and I’ll thank you to call it that since I call you by your prefered name, although we can get into the whole "anti-choice" vs. "pro-abortion" routine if you want), then when he acts out it is okay to tar the whole movement with terrorism.  What about the paradigm that was used with real terrorism  eight years ago?  The perpetrators were organized and came from a group defined by their beliefs, but everyone has more or less agreed to call them "Islamists" or "Muslim extremists" out of respect for all of the peace loving Muslims.

     

    I don’t see that same standard applied to the pro-life movement.

     

    Also, is it your contention that Operation Rescue colluded with Roeder to have Tiller killed?  Operation Rescue is probably my least favorite pro-life group- but I still think that that is so inflammatory that if you were to suggest it, you’d better have something to back it up with.

  • larry-j

    It appeared that he had many motivations: one seems likely to have been financial, one seems to have been anger with a pro-life protester, and there is apparently a third which has not been disclosed.  One person stated in published reports that he just had a list of people that he wanted to kill.

  • larry-j

    PS: I agree with you that the clinic bombings are instances of terrorism.  Still, in those cases you do not take the same pains not to tar the whole pro-life movement with the same brush that I expect you take for Muslims.

  • jodi-jacobson

    One is that all news organizations make mistakes, as it appears the NYT reporter on the ground in Michigan did and as did some commentors to that reporter who appear to have been over-reaching before there was sufficient evidence.

     

    You nonetheless did not provide a link to whatever you saw at whatever point in time.

     

    At that moment, however, you cited the NYT headline as proof that this was politically motivated by someone out to get anti-choice activists.  My take and my understanding from talking to people on the ground is that the police had no clue exactly what was going on, some were told there were "bodies in 5 other cities in Michigan waiting to be found," which turned out to be false, and so on.  Very fast-moving story, very little information, lots of blogs. 

     

    We reported the actual facts as we knew them and did not extrapolate further, create new "facts" or assign motives to the killer.  You did based on the NYT blog which, as you have noted, subsequently changed, as these things do in the heat of a developing story.

     

    I was not capitalizing on anything; I was asking for proof of your claim.

     

    Second point: The killing of Dr. Tiller fits every definition of domestic terrorism and even the FBI has (finally) agree to investigate it as such.

     

    No such criteria exist here.

     

    Whether or not you were claiming this was domestic terrorism, you were using the point to undermine the evidence that the murder of Dr. Tiller was.

     

    Again….you were using the facts to suit your own case and story and not as they exist.

    Jodi

     

     

  • amie-newman

    and we deplore the violence and condemn the murder of both men. It appears that this was not an act of violence based on Pouillon’s anti-choice activism, however.
    Two men were murdered and a third one was targeted – all for different reasons, it appears. Please see Jodi’s post.

     

    Amie Newman

    Managing Editor, RH Reality Check

  • larry-j

    Poppycock!  (That’s not the word that I want to use.) 

     

    All I did was copy and past from the NYT!  Nothing more and nothing less.  Would you like a screen cap of how the page looked earlier?  Frankly, I half expected that even though it was based on the statement of a prosecutor, that they might try to walk it back- so I saved it.  If you’d gone to the NYT site at the time that I made my comment, then you would have seen it.

     

    How is it that copying the NYT amounts to  an effort to "create new ‘facts’ or assign motives to the killer"?  If anyone was guilty of such a thing then it was the headline writer at the Times, not I.  You are AGAIN accusing me of manipulating the facts, when as far as I’m concerned is rather ironic.

     

    You didn’t trust me not to twist things for an agenda.  I didn’t trust that you had not already seen that my comment accurately reflected what had been there, and I suspected that you were taking advantage of   the fact that anyone who clicked on the link would see the amended version as a basis for making your claim that I  would not hesitate to "create new ‘facts’ or assign motives to the killer".

     

    Dr. Tiller’s murder was not terrorism- it was either a murder or perhaps an assassination.  For it to have been terrorism, the motivation would have had to have been part of a campaign to intimidate or coerce through fear.  That was not the intent.  Roeder was just trying to stop Tiller.  Tiller was seen as somehow especially heinous becuase of the late term abortions (which frankly is not in keeping with the pro-life philosophy at all) and Roeder had become obsessed with him.  Do you consider either of the Kennedy assassinations to have been acts of terrorism?

     

    The whole Tiller/terrorism meme is merely an attempt by the pro-choicers to capitalize on the last eight years of history and the conservative obsession with fighting terrorism.

  • progo35

    Amanda, 

    Frankly, you are a prime example of the kind of intolerant, biased pro choice faction that I am talking about. You label the very  pro life activists who spoke out against Tiller’s murder as "celebrating" Tiller’s murder. No pro life activist did that, and you KNOW IT.  Or, maybe you don’t: maybe your worldview is such that you do think that pro life activists are really happy about someone being murdered when we were not.  You have said here that the pro life side must bear some responsibility for Tiller’s murder. Well, if that’s true, then isn’t your characterization of pro life activists/people as mysogynistic, stupid and violent part the same vitriot that you say could incite a person to kill someone else? That’s just as plausible as pro life rhetoric inciting Tiller’s murder. I, personally, am sick and tired of being called anti choice, mysogynistic, etc, etc, no matter what I say or do, because of my stance on abortion. Perhaps you should work on that as you try to lecture others on the evils of incendiary language.

     

     

  • crowepps

    Also, is it your contention that Operation Rescue colluded with Roeder to have Tiller killed? Operation Rescue is probably my least favorite pro-life group- but I still think that that is so inflammatory that if you were to suggest it, you’d better have something to back it up with.

    It’s certainly my belief that MEMBERS of Operation Rescue colluded with Roeder to track Tiller and provided Roeder with information and support. The evidence that’s available seems to show that – such as the phone number on his dashboard. The ProLife activists who have made statements about Roeder’s actions being justified and who have visited him in jail to express their support also seem to demonstrate that there is an organization. The actual evidence of conspiracy, if any, will come out at his (or their) trials after the FBI finishes the investigaiton.

     

    This certainly is a case which tests Freedom of Speech – when people make impassioned and repeated public pronouncements about how someone “deserves to die” and “has to be stopped” and one of their listeners carries that out by actually acting and ‘rids them of this pestilential priest’, they need to take responsibility. To encourage people who respect you as an authority to take an action and then deny that responsibility because you ‘really didn’t think anyone would actually act’ is dishonest.

  • larry-j

    You know Jodi, no matter what, you’re so wedded to the idea that I’m dishonest and unethical that you are willing to twist and stretch the truth just to make it appear as if I’m not presenting the facts as they are.  And you’re hardly the only one here doing that.  It’s all a villain and hero narrative for you guys.  What the hell is the point?

  • dltbhs

    "Anti-choice people take 1.2 million human lives every year in the United States alone"

     

    Hmm. I’m sure that was an innocent little slip…

  • larry-j

    Someone click on Jodi’s link right now and tell me what they see, because "my own special system" is working again.

  • kate-ranieri

    1816 HRS–eastern time 

    I have been following the NY Times story for over 7 hours now because the NY Times seems to be the only story in town and I know they have changed their text in the story. So, Larry, take a chill pill.

  • kate-ranieri

    Hate to say this, but I’m alarmed at the poster Larry J. He (or she) strikes me as someone with the potential to be harmful. He’s trying very hard to strike a balance but seems to be tipping…….over the edge.

  • catseye71352
  • larry-j

    Kate my dear- Jodi basically accused me of making up a headline and said that if I saw that headline then I had my own special system because it was not thae same on her computer.  The NYT has now switched back to what I had said.  Review the preceding comments pleasel.

  • crowepps

    Just a suggestion, but the New York Times is in NEW YORK and the story is being reported locally — as I’ve followed it today the local papers seem to be both more accurate and to have the ‘updates’ first.

    Try:

    http://www.freep.com/article/20090911/NEWS06/90911020/1319/Man-in-custody-for-2-fatal-Owosso-shootings

    or

    http://www.argus-press.com/

  • larry-j

    What about it?  We knew the shooter’s name more than a half hour ago.  So we now know that the 3rd guy was a realtor?  Is that what you wanted me to see?

     

    What is your point Catseye?

  • crowepps

    It is pretty frustrating to try to discuss things when people insist everything is black and white and there are simplistic solutions, isn’t it, Larry?

  • larry-j

    Tell me something Crowepps, have I at any point impugned your character?  If you remember, I have explicitly said that I believe that both sides act in accord with what they believe are the most ethical principles and (unlike some) I have asserted that pro-choicers are evil.  (I think that that’s largely because unlike the majority of pro-lifers I’m non-religious.)

     

    I’ve also clearly said that it is an ethically complex issue which ultimately can be affected by a whole lot of variables in one’s belief system.  As to solutions- I don’t see yours as any more complex than mine.

  • larry-j

    Tell me something Crowepps, have I at any point impugned your character?  If you remember, I have explicitly said that I believe that both sides act in accord with what they believe are the most ethical principles and (unlike some) I have asserted that pro-choicers are evil.  (I think that that’s largely because unlike the majority of pro-lifers I’m non-religious.)

     

    I’ve also clearly said that it is an ethically complex issue which ultimately can be affected by a whole lot of variables in one’s belief system.  As to solutions- I don’t see yours as any more complex than mine.

  • larry-j

    If your point was that the other killing (and the planned killing) were not abortion related, then you should review the page, because I already said that a long time ago.  (Look at the comment, "It appears…")

  • crowepps

    Once again, Larry, you seem to have leapt to the conclusion that if there is a post on here that can be construed negatively, it must be some sort of insult to you personally.  This issue and other people’s posts here are not all about YOU.

  • amanda-marcotte

    And Operation Rescue is still using the murder as a success story in shutting down a clinic. See: This week’s podcast. The only people here who are full of vitriol are the ones who call 40% of American women and their health care providers "Nazis", "murderers", etc. I saw a few anti-choicers regret Dr. Tiller’s murder, but the general tone was suggesting he had it coming.  

     

     

  • amanda-marcotte

    Are to blame.  If your movement has a long history of bombing and killing, as the anti-choice, anti-woman movement does, then you know very well what you’re doing if you a) track someone’s movement b) make "wanted" pictures with their faces c) target them for harassment campaigns where everyone dares each other to escalate their attacks and d) calls your targets names designed to justify murdering them.  Yes, if you do this, you are responsible for what happens.

     

    Your analogy is facetious.  I don’t blame all Christians when an anti-choice nut goes off and shoots a doctor.  I do blame the movement that soaks up broken, angry people and encourages them with escalating acts of vandalism, harassment, assault, and incendiary rhetoric about "genocide" and "murder".

  • larry-j

    Calling it murder isn’t incendiary rhetoric Amanda.  It’s your view that it isn’t murder, but if you see it as no different than infanticide, then "murder" is just accurate.

     

    I don’t really like the clinic watchers and I don’t approve at all of people being followed to their homes.  (Isn’t that stalking?)

     

    Of course you (as someone who is "pro-abortion" just like we’re "anti-choice") don’t blame all Christians- that is a dumb analogy since not all Christians are pro-life.  But the muslim analogy is accurate. 

     

    Are you suggesting that the pro-life movement is just a bunch of broken angry people or are you saying that broken angry people are amongst them?  If you’re saying the latter, then how is that different from muslims who are attracted to extremism and become suicide bombers.

     

    Your principle of ‘tolerance’ is highly selective.

  • larry-j

    Again, calling it murder is what it is if you believe that it is equivalent to infanticide. You don’t, therefore you don’t see it as murder, but that’s just a judgment on your part.  You people accuse us of enslaving women.  I don’t agree with that judgment either.

     

    As far as ‘Nazi’ goes- I’ve said on this very site that I object when pro-lifers say that just as I object when you guys say that we’re no different than the Taliban. 

     

    Your rhetoric is hardly more civil.

  • larry-j

    "It is pretty frustrating to try to discuss things when people insist
    everything is black and white and there are simplistic solutions, isn’t
    it, Larry?"

     

    If  that wasn’t directed at me, then it was an odd question.  (It had my name at the end of it.)  Also, when people here make sweeping (& insulting) generalizations about pro-lifers, then that is an insult to me- even though it applies to others.  Isn’t it? 

  • cmarie

    This article doesn’t even try to sound like a news report. Sounds to me more like something I’d expect to hear from the accused’s defense attorney.

  • crowepps

    Gee, do you see ‘Pro-Lifers’ anywhere in that sentence? I was referring to a cognitive style, not a political position. And weren’t YOU were the one who just talking about how unfair it was to lump all Pro-Lifers together as a ‘conspiracy’ as if everyone in the whole movement was responsible for each member? Now you’re saying that any general statement can be considered a personal insult to each and every member because the whole group is a uniform block. Make up your mind, Larry — are you all the same and linked together or not?

  • larry-j

    Logic indeed is missing. 

    1. I’m saying that to "lump all Pro-Lifers together as a ‘conspiracy’ " is wrong- which I certainly do not do.

    2. I am saying that making sweeping statements about all pro-lifers is wrong because it treats them as if the "whole group is a uniform block".  If you point out bad elements in the group and say, ‘this is how the such-and-such’ are, then it is wrong because you are criticizing them all when you should single out only a part of the group.

     

     

    In both case the same thing is happening.  In both cases, I object.  You seem to be suggesting that if I think thatwe shouldn’t be treated as a block, then I should assume that I am excepted in the sweeping generalization even though I haven’t been.

     

    I’m being consistent here.   You seem to be saying, that it just shouldn’t bother me because…. 

    because I know better?  Is that the general approach people take, or do they usually get offended when someone insults a whole category of people of which they are a member?

  • crowepps

    Well, sure calling it murder is inflammatory rhetoric. Murder is a word with a specific meaning – “unlawful killing”. Abortion is legal and so murder is not an accurate description. It can’t be called “infanticide” either since there is no “infant” involved. It could accurately be called “legal feticide” I guess.

    Sure, following people to their homes is stalking. Actually the gentleman who was just killed was convicted of that crime:

    Victim had long list of run-ins with the law

    Pouillon had been charged and convicted numerous times on offenses related to his protests.

    He had an especially contentious relationship with an Owosso car dealership and some of its employees, according to court records. Pouillon was sued by the dealership and several employees for harassment and intimidating behavior.

    The clash began in the early 1990s when the dealership displayed campaign signs for a candidate whom Pouillon believed to be pro-choice. He began staging demonstrations at the dealership.

    One employee, a young woman, said he verbally accused her of various offenses, including killing babies, an activity she said she had no connection with whatsoever.

    In 2000, Pouillon was convicted of stalking the woman, a conviction he unsuccessfully appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    http://www.freep.com/article/20090911/NEWS06/90911020/1319/Man-in-custody-for-2-fatal-Owosso-shootings

  • ahunt

    Larry Snookums…are you conceding that Jodi had reason to question your posting?

  • paul-bradford

    Do you consider either of the Kennedy assassinations to have been acts of terrorism?

     

    Yeah, I do.  Arab terrorist Sirhan Sirhan assassinated Robert Kennedy on the one year anniversary of the Six Day War.  It was an attempt to intimidate the US for its support of Israel.  Sirhan may have altered history more by killing one person than Osama bin Laden did by killing 3,000.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • larry-j

    First, I didn’t say that a fetus was an infant.  I said that we see abortion as equivalent to infanticide.  A fetus is a human life, but some people hold that it can be killed because it doesn’t meet the criteria for personhood.  Okay, sure, but neither does a newborn.

     

    Newborns have been granted the legal status of persons nonetheless- but then so have corporations.  We’d like to give fetuses that status too.

     

    Do you really believe that it isn’t murder if the state doesn’t prohibit it?

     

    When the Taliban rule was unchallenged and they would find a woman guilty of an honor crime, and then execute her (perhaps by stoning), then was that murder?  I’d say it was.  

     

    What about when slave owners (or more likely an overseer) beat a slave to death.  That was legal too.  Don’t you think that that is murder?

     

     

     

    So 

  • larry-j

    I’m sure that you know more about this than I, but I can’t help but wonder if it was really an attempt to intimidate.   Is it not possible that he was merely trying to keep RFK from becoming president and aiding Israel (and perhaps punish him as well)?  I don’t know how crazy he was, but if he actually thought that killing a presidential candidate would cause the forthcoming presidential administration to change its course on foreign policy, then he would have to be very very far gone, but maybe he was. 

  • paul-bradford

    George Tiller and Jim Pouillon have this much in common — they each risked their lives in service to deeply held beliefs.  Each had his run-ins with the law even though neither was, in any sense, lawless.  Both men understood that there is more to life than looking after oneself, and both men truly wanted to help make the world a better place for us to live in.  The fact that they had a fundamental difference of understanding shouldn’t blind us to the fact that they were both, in the truest sense, martyrs because each one had a cause that was more important to him than his very life.

     

    They also have this in common — they are the last men who would be guilty of perpetrating the crime they were victimized by. 

     

    If good can come out of tragedy then we will all be better able to love our enemies.  There is more that binds us together than there is that draws us apart. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • crowepps

    As I said, "murder" is a legal term and if the law does not consider a death murder then, no, it is not murder. It may be homicide but it is not murder.

    homicide The killing of one human being by the act or omission of another. The term applies to all such killings, whether criminal or not. Homicide is noncriminal in a number of situations, including deaths as the result of war and putting someone to death by the valid sentence of a court. Killing may also be legally justified or excused, as it is in cases of self-defense or when someone is killed by another person who is attempting to prevent a violent felony. Criminal homicide occurs when a person purposely, knowingly, recklessly, or with extreme negligence causes the death of another. Murder and manslaughter are examples of criminal homicide. http://www.nolapress.com/dictionary/homicide-term.html;jsessionid=57979871DDBC34E568E20E7E01675E4E.jvm1

  • larry-j

    Ahunt-here is what I took issue with, "Let’s keep our fact straight as we know them, Larry, and not anticipate facts until they are confirmed."  In other words: don’t make stuff up.  Now, what I had done was just cut and paste the headline right out of the NYT.  The Times had changed the headline when Jodi looked at it, but she was assuming that I had made up my own headline and claimed that it was the Times headline.

     

    If she’d suggested that I’d just added my own little intro or something, and then told me not to pass off speculation as fact, then that’s be one thing, but to say that I’d made something up and then tried to pass it off a being what was in the NYT- that would be a lie, and a stupid one to boot.

    Ms. Newman found that I hadn’t made anything up with a google search, and now they put it back the way that it was- so it is clear that I wasn’t lying.  Of course Jodi hasn’t apologized, but then … whatever.

  • ahunt

    You are missing the point, Pookie.

  • ahunt

    Um…you should review, Paul. Stalking a young woman is in fact, against the law.

  • ahunt

    Knock it off, Larry.

  • siby

    Love my enemies? In some cases, sure, but I am not willing to love the anti-choice. I do not love those who want to take my rights away and to use me as a slave.

     

    It’s pretty disgusting that you’d compare Dr. Tiller to this man. All this man did was scream at people in an attempt to terrorize them and to take away women’s rights. Not an honorable intention in the least.

     

    With that being said, I do not condone this man’s murder at all. Murder is morally wrong no matter how you look at it, and this is also detrimental to the pro-choice movement. I don’t believe that we’re going to get anywhere by killing our enemies.

  • jeornom

    I absolutely *love* the inflammatory "anti-choice" tag in the headline, instead of the more accurate "anti-abortion".

    RHRC can’t cough up a civil show of respect even when the movement kills someone 63 years older than the usual target.

    Keep checking for reality, RHRC – someday you might find it.

  • jen-r

    <blockquote>

    No pro life activist did that, and you KNOW IT. </blockquote>

     

    Well,
    I wouldn’t go that far.  Some did.  Randall Terry springs to mind, for instance. 
    Nonetheless, the general point that Amanda lumps all abortion opponents
    together and automatically thinks the worst of all of them still
    stands.

  • jodi-jacobson

    I left my computer at dinner time to feed my family and take care of my kids, so please forgive the obviously agitating delay in responding to you.

    I have only a few minutes now so will respond to a part of what you’ve said and other pieces tomorrow.

    You wrote:

    Dr. Tiller’s murder was not terrorism- it was either a murder or
    perhaps an assassination.  For it to have been terrorism, the
    motivation would have had to have been part of a campaign to intimidate
    or coerce through fear.  That was not the intent.  Roeder was just
    trying to stop Tiller. 

    We must have an extremely different standard for what constitutes "a campaign to intimidate or coerce." 

    Indeed, such a campaign had been aimed at Dr. Tiller for years and stretched from the most extremist groups, like the so-called Army of God, to Operation Rescue, to media personalities like Bill O’Reilly.  Much of this has been well-documented on this site in many posts as well as on other sites.

    Operation Rescue set up shop in Wichita for the express purpose of focusing on Dr. Tiller’s clinics; members of the extreme anti-choice movement previously shot Dr. Tiller twice; and Operation Rescue aided by other groups and a rabidly anti-choice and politically motivated Attorney General in Kansas brought–and lost–one after the other spurious suits against Dr. Tiller, furthering the harassment financially.  We’ve written on this extensively on the site–just search it–most recently here.

    Scott Roeder’s connection to these clowns is clear and he had been consulting with a former employee of Operation Rescue. Roeder himself had vandalized clinics and had been seen "casing" Tiller’s clinic.  Many of the leaders of these groups now are visiting him in prison.  There are many more and sundry examples of this campaign, which only morphed into one against Dr. Carhart as soon as Dr. Tiller was killed, when members of the extreme anti-choice contingent posted photos of his clinic on their website.

    I call these concerted campaigns of intimidation and harassment.

    You also wrote:

    Tiller was seen as somehow especially heinous becuase of the late term
    abortions (which frankly is not in keeping with the pro-life philosophy
    at all) …..

    I really don’t know what you mean by this.  That "all abortions are equally heinous according to the "pro-life" philosophy, and that late abortions are therefore no different than others?  Did you miss 15 years of concerted effort to pass the so-called partial birth abortion ban, a term created by the far right to mislead people and to make late abortions to save women’s lives into illegal acts?  

    Have you missed the endless fundraising your colleagues in this field do on the whole late abortion issue, using misinformation, outright lies and pseudo-science to make unsupportable claims?

    It would be helpful to know exactly what the pro-life philosophy is on that point cause i am confused.

    I get that you want to be treated as "separate" from the lunatic fringe.  Unfortunately and frankly, it is the lunatic fringe that is organized, that exercises political power and I honestly don’t think it is so "fringy."

    The terms "pro-life" and "pro-choice" mean little to most people.  I consider myself "pro-life," in that I am for the health, well-being and human rights of born persons.

    It is when it comes down to the very personal decisions that people need to make that the majority of people in this country state that they want those very private decisions left up to women and their families….even when they self-describe as "pro-life."

    it is the truly organized lunatic fringe, however, that works assiduously to ram through one piece after another of legislation that would eliminate women’s choices–and yes you and they in your support of personhood amendments are in my mind, "anti-choice."  it is these groups that want to outaw abortion, contraception, and many other aspects of basic care for women.  This is anti-choice.

    You may feel that preventing a fertilized egg from implanting is "murder."  there is no social agreement that that fertilized egg is a "person," and many and sundry levels of moral and ethical thinking on personhood.

    But when i sit down next to someone on the metro, when I am in the check out line at the grocery store, when i am in an elevator with others—those are unequivocally born people.  to impose your belief on what constitutes "life" in utero, or before, on others is indeed anti choice and profoundly  so.

    With best wishes,

    Jodi

  • paul

    "…anti-choice activists were celebrating the murder, even as they were pulling phony faces and pretending to condemn it."

     

    Of course, it is also true that you are putting on a phony face, and are secretly celebrating tonight.  How do I know that?  Well, because I said so.

     

    In all seriousness, let’s at least have an honest debate.  This kind of talk gets us nowhere.   

  • paul

    "And Operation Rescue is still using the murder as a success story in shutting down a clinic. See: This week’s podcast."

     

    Can you show me evidence that Operation Rescue sees the murder of Tiller as a good thing, as opposed to the closing of his clinic as a good thing?  (Sorry for the poor grammer).  You offer no evidence for this in the podcast.  One can be both opposed to the killing of Tiller and glad that his clinic is closed. Killing Tiller is not an acceptable means to reach the end of closing the clinic, the man had a right to his life, and a right to just treatment, not vigilantism.

     

    As an aside, I completely agree that the media is doing a terrible job covering the health care reform bill and the need for reform of our system.  

  • emma

    Actually, Paul, there were anti-choicers here who were positively thrilled about George Tiller being murdered. I recall the commenter who calls hirself ‘Truth’ saying as much in one of the comment threads shortly after the murder. Another commenter made some comment to the effect of ‘well, I wouldn’t murder someone, but I wouldn’t want to take away anyone’s else’s choice to murder’…you know, like haha, so funny!

     

    And seriously…rejoicing at GT’s clinic being closed is much the same thing as rejoicing at his being murdered, given that the former was a direct result of the latter. If there are any women who’ve died due to pregnancy complications as a result of the clinic’s closure, well, you’re celebrating that, too.
    Anti-choicers are pro-murder, and wishing that fact away won’t change it. You’re also in favour of laws that kill women, but then protest that oh no, you’re not really pathologically misogynistic. You just don’t mind seeing a few women die from unsafe abortion in the Greater Quest to Save the Foetuses.

     

    Larry J’s freudian slip upthread was made of win. Nice to see an anti-choicer acknowledge their fantasies.

     

    In any case, the subject of this article is awful. It is just horrible and tragic that people think shooting each other is a fabulous way of resolving their political differences. I hate this. There is enough death in this world.

  • jodi-jacobson

    You wrote:

    With that being said, I do not condone this man’s murder at all. Murder is morally wrong no matter how you look at it, and this is also detrimental to the pro-choice movement. I don’t believe that we’re going to get anywhere by killing our enemies.

    Please note that there was no involvement, whatsoever either of a broader political agenda on behalf of the person who killed Mr. Pouillon and Mr. Fuoss, and who intended to kill another person that day, nor was there any link to, involvement of, nor any reference to the pro-choice movement.

    Please do not confuse these two things.  These murders are a tragedy as are all the murders that go on every day in this country. We are sure the families of these men are grieving deeply.

    But there was no link to any political agenda.

    Therefore to state:

    …this is also
    detrimental to the pro-choice movement. I don’t believe that we’re
    going to get anywhere by killing our enemies.

    is misleading and implicates the pro-choice movement in something with which it had nothing to do.

     

    Best, Jodi

  • colleen

    I’m alarmed (and offended) by Larry’s posts also.

     

     

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • colleen

    Jodi maintained her composure throughout that exchange and was never abusive; she has no reason to apologize. You, however, do. That was an appalling display on your part as is this current display of self justification and victimhood.

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • crowepps

    Murder is morally wrong no matter how you look at it, and this is also detrimental to the pro-choice movement. I don’t believe that we’re going to get anywhere by killing our enemies.

    I understand what you mean but that last sentence confuses the issue. Even if killing our enemies DID ‘get us somewhere’, it would still be WRONG.

  • paul-bradford

    This is from the Detroit Free Press:

     

    [Pouillon] had an especially contentious relationship with an Owosso car dealership, now called Young Chevrolet, and some of its employees, according to court records. Pouillon was sued by the dealership and several employees for harassment and intimidation. 

     

    The clash began in the early 1990s, when the dealership displayed campaign signs for a candidate whom Pouillon believed to be pro-choice. He began staging demonstrations at the dealership.

     

    One employee, a young woman, said he verbally accused her of various offenses, including killing babies.

     

    In 2000, Pouillon was convicted of stalking the woman, a conviction he unsuccessfully appealed. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • crowepps

    Is that the general approach people take, or do they usually get offended when someone insults a whole category of people of which they are a member?

    You’re going to have to choose your position, Larry. Either you are stating that all Pro-Life activists are black and white thinkers, in which case I guess you and any other members of the ‘category’ can choose to be insulted, or alternatively admit that the comment was made about ALL people whose cognitive style is black/white thinking on BOTH sides of the controversy.

     

    If your point is that insulting ‘a whole category of people’ is wrong and shouldn’t be allowed, you might want to scale back on the sweeping statements about all pro-choicers or all women who get abortions or even all women for that matter.

  • jodi-jacobson

    This particular story simply reported straight facts as they were known as of the writing of the story.

    All that was known was a) Mr. Pouillon had been killed, b) no one had as yet been apprehended in the killing, c) no other link had yet been made to another killing.

    Having spoken directly with the reporter myself, I know that he was working hard to get the evidence and facts down as they came out and NOT to report rumor–i.e. that there were "bodies all over Michigan killed by the same person," (one such rumor found to be false), that this was a killing motivated by a political agenda (it was not), and so on.

    To have characterized anyone at the time would have been making it up out of whole cloth cause there was no killer identified at the time.

    As soon as we knew–and could verify–who the suspect was, we reported it, and we further condemned the violence and killing of both men.

     

    Thanks, Jodi

  • paul-bradford

    I am not willing to love the anti-choice. I do not love those who want to take my rights away and to use me as a slave.

     

    From my observation, Siby, both sides have their ways of choking off dialogue.  The Pro-Life side likes to call its opponents ‘pro-abortion’, the Reproductive Rights side likes to call its opponents ‘anti-choice’.  Both sides want to believe that their opponents are monsters.  The epithets they use make responsible interchange difficult.

     

    You know, if I really believed that someone was attempting to take away my rights and use me as a slave I wouldn’t be able to do a very good job of listening to him.  The possibility that I might be wrong, that the other person might be motivated by some other desire than the desire to take away my rights wouldn’t be something to which I’d be able to give due consideration.

     

    Fear makes people suggestible.  Fear can also make people frightening.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • crowepps

    Paul, the reason that people came to the conclusion that some member of the Pro-Life groups were gloating was because of their public pronouncements — ‘murder is terrible but –‘  and the history of similar comments when the OTHER doctors were killed and when OTHER people were killed in clinic bombings.  Having an honest debate should include the fact that some people have ignoble motives and secretly gloat over misfortunes suffered by the other ‘camp’.  

    Antiabortion activist Randall Terry today added fuel to the debate over the killing yesterday of a prominent Kansas late-term abortion provider, saying George R. Tiller "was a mass murderer and, horrifically, he reaped what he sowed."

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/01/AR2009060102058.html

    Drew Griffin: When you heard the news over the weekend about the abortion doctor — that I’m sure you are well aware of — was shot and killed, what was your reaction?

    Dan Holman: I was cheered by it because I knew that he wouldn’t be killing any more babies. And I expect that would happen when all legal and moral — legal ways of trying to stop it has been exhausted, as they have tried to prosecute him for giving abortions to people in violation of Kansas law.

    Drew Griffin:
    When you say you were cheered by it, is there any inconsistency in your thought in that you are trying to protect life and at the same time here’s this doctor who was shot and killed and in your own words you are cheered by that?

    Dan Holman:
    No, because I’m protecting innocent life. I’m not — and the doctor or the abortionist is guilty of murder as far as I’m concerned. It’s no different for him to be killing a preborn child or a post-born child. The preborn child is entitled to the same rights, privileges and protections as a post-born child.

    Drew Griffin:
    So, you support this killing?

    Dan Holman:
    I don’t advocate it, I don’t support it. But I don’t condemn it, and I believe that what he did was justifiable.

    Drew Griffin: You told me earlier that he — meaning the shooter — he did what the law should have done?

    Dan Holman:
    Right, exactly. The law should have protected the preborn child; and the law is supposed to execute vengeance, you know, in protecting the child. But what the man did was not execute vengeance, as far as I’m concerned. He was protecting preborn children, ones that are slated for abortion today and the future. I don’t feel that what he did is vengeance.

    Drew Griffin: Do you seek this fate on all doctors performing abortions out there?

    Dan Holman: I believe that all abortionists are deserving of death, and they are not the only ones. There are politicians and judges and others who support this murder that are also deserving of death.
    http://www.examiner.com/x-4710-Milwaukee-Atheism-Examiner~y2009m6d2-Prolifer-cheered-by-Dr-George-Tillers-murder

     

    Murder is murder, and it is something that we pro-lifers inherently deplore.  But I can’t help but note – and my history is rusty so pardon me here – I’m trying to remember, did anyone mourn Lee Harvey Oswald when Jack Ruby gunned him down?  Or better yet, did anyone mourn the deaths of Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer, or any other mass murderer for that matter?  Even according to the harebrained pro-choice life-at-viability reckoning, Tiller was indisputably a mass murderer who was executed in a fashion far more humane than the tens of thousands of children that he mutilated and left to die in cuddle session bassinets.
    http://www.gingiedmonds.com/June12009.html

     

     

  • crowepps

    You know, if I really believed that someone was attempting to take away my rights and use me as a slave I wouldn’t be able to do a very good job of listening to him. The possibility that I might be wrong, that the other person might be motivated by some other desire than the desire to take away my rights wouldn’t be something to which I’d be able to give due consideration.

    To the person who is going to lose their rights and end up a slave, which desires motivate the other person is pretty irrelevant, don’t you think? It doesn’t matter how pure and elevated and philosophically wonderful the other person’s motivation may be – THEY aren’t the ones who are going to be paying the price. As I recollect, there were all sorts of pure and elevated motives argued for enslaving both Native Americans and Africans – including converting them to Christianity and ‘civilizing’ them.

  • paul-bradford

    THEY aren’t the ones who are going to be paying the price. 

     

    crowepps,

     

    You can certainly correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m betting that the ‘double meaning’ in your sentence didn’t even occur to you.  When you wrote about people ‘paying the price’ you weren’t thinking at all about the very young people who pay a dear price every day for the fact that they are absolutely invisible to most of the society — and, apparently, absolutely invisible to you.

     

    You know me well enough to know that I don’t want women to be slaves to their own biology.  Hell, if it were up to me there would be a scientific breakthrough tomorrow that would give women complete control over the process of ovulation.  We could eliminate unintended pregnancy and PMS at the same time.  That would be a good thing, that would be something that would really give freedom to women.  Abortion gives the illusion of freedom but it takes something away that is even more precious.

     

    My claim is that you personally would gain if you adopted a Pro-Life perspective.  As I understand it, you’re not going to be having any more children yourself; but I say that an appreciation of the lives of the unborn would make your own life better even if you’re not going to be carrying an unborn child in the future. 

     

    Here’s what gets me upset: People make other people invisible.  It happens all the time to people of all ages.  ‘Moral’ people make others invisible.  We harm invisible people and we don’t even realize it. 

     

    I know you read Amanda’s column the other day.  This is from the NYT article she referenced:

     

    [W]e came across an obscure but meticulous demographic study that outlined a human rights violation that had claimed tens of thousands more lives [than Tiananmen Square]. This study found that 39,000 baby girls died annually in China because parents didn’t give them the same medical care and attention that boys received — and that was just in the first year of life. A result is that as many infant girls died unnecessarily every week in China as protesters died at Tiananmen Square. Those Chinese girls never received a column inch of news coverage, and we began to wonder if our journalistic priorities were skewed. 

     

    Not enough people are paying attention to Chinese baby girls.  They’re invisible; but I don’t want them to be invisible to you.  Why should you care?  You should care because those girls are part of the human family.  There!  I’m telling you what you SHOULD think and what you SHOULD feel because I’m one of those annoying ‘binary thinkers’.  Wouldn’t you just LOVE it if I’d let it go?

     

    Choice advocates want abortion to be safe, legal, convenient and affordable.  But that doesn’t bother me at all.  I realize that even if it’s all those things, women won’t get abortions unless abortion is morally tenable.  Women aren’t going to violate their own moral precepts which is why the only women who get abortions are the ones who believe that the very young are something less than fully human.

     

    These are moral women, these are logical women, they have no deficiencies in logic or morality.  The problem is that the unborn are invisible to them — and you, and everyone else in our society, is either making the very young more visible or less visible.

     

    That’s why I’d never waste my time in front of an abortion clinic — that’s not where the decisions are being made. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • crowepps

    My claim is that you personally would gain if you adopted a Pro-Life perspective. As I understand it, you’re not going to be having any more children yourself; but I say that an appreciation of the lives of the unborn would make your own life better even if you’re not going to be carrying an unborn child in the future.

    Oh, sure, it would be a snap for me, no longer at risk of having an unwanted pregnancy, to "appreciate…the lives of the unborn" and make my own life better — at the expense of young women I could then scorn and patronize and lecture and to whom I could feel smugly superior. If I wasn’t opposed to abortion when I actually WAS at risk, it would be totally hypocritical to suddenly become all anguished and ‘moral’ about other people’s choices at this point, don’t you think? It seems to me it would be incredibly immoral to bind burdens on the backs of other people and force them to carry them only after the point where I would never be at risk of carrying them myself. And as a woman approaching retirement age, I know more about people making other people ‘invisible’ than you can possibly imagine. Most human societies don’t particularly value people, but instead only people who ARE USEFUL.

  • crowepps

    Additional comment on this topic – your assumptions that that the unborn are “apparently, absolutely invisible to” me, that I need to adopt “a Pro-Life perspective”, that I don’t “appreciate the lives of the unborn” is apparently based on the fact that I believe abortion should remain legal. Your assumptions don’t reflect my actual beliefs at all, but instead your persistent delusion that anyone who doesn’t agree with you about abortion being ‘a tragedy’ and zygotes being more valuable than the people who are walking around already doesn’t “care” correctly.

     

    Again, MOST PEOPLE are invisible, the lives of MOST PEOPLE are not valued and MOST PEOPLE feel that they are not appreciated as individuals. Focusing on the unborn or the unwanted Chinese baby girls would be an easy out, lots of ability to emote and a quick shift of the responsibility to actually DO something to somebody else entirely, instead of making a personal commitment to ACT MYSELF and demonstrate to the otherwise invisible people with whom I interact every day that THEY have value.

  • siby

    Of course, I didn’t mean to say that murder would be fine if it got us somewhere. I meant to say that, no matter how you look at it, murder is just plain wrong and hurtful.

  • crowepps

    I agree and I was pretty sure that was what you meant but figured it wouldn’t hurt to clarify. When people disavow tactics ‘because it won’t get us anywhere’ or because ‘it hurts our cause’ it’s not as strong a statement as ‘this is just plain wrong no matter what’.

  • phylosopher

    OMFG – do you even realize the utter hypocrisy of your latest post, Paul?  I’ve read a few of your other posts and was ready to even give some kudos.  But that last one shows how blind you are to your own ignorance and privilege – you’re not one iota better that the people you condemn in China – talk about invisible and marginalizing.  Tell me how the Catholic Church gives women and women’s views and values full representation and voice in your "church," Paul?  tell me how women religious aren’t relegated to second class status. 

  • phylosopher

    Paul, have you actualy delved into some of the things Mr. Pouillon did?  One of them included standing outside a chhurch to which he did not belong, but which he believed should be more vocal/active in the anti-choice movement.  The church didn’t accede to his pushing, (I believe the pastor told him the church used kinder, gentler tactics.) So Pouillon chose to stand outside that church and shout as mothers with VERY YOUNG children were going in to daycare, screaming something like "Don’t take your children there, they don’t care about kids being killed" or some such, to the point where the three and four year olds were crying and traumatized. One, had I been there, Mr. Pouillon would indeed have incurred some attempted violence, though not of the lethal type – parent in defense of child, etc.  Second, you do realize the utter indefensible-ness of such action on a moral basis? ANd the high irony – he wanted to save kids, so he scars other kids for life to do so?     He was just another windbag who wanted to be a big trout in a small pond.  He helped no one, he created nothing, he was using a cause to gain personal notoriety.  To compare him to George Tiller is an insult, please withdraw it.

  • n-miller

    I just want to thank Kate Ranieri for bringing back “take a chill pill.” You rock.

  • paul-bradford

    Most human societies don’t particularly value people, but instead only people who ARE USEFUL.

     

    I’ve always sensed that you and I get upset about the same kinds of injustices, and a comment like that just solidifies my opinion. 

     

    If I wasn’t opposed to abortion when I actually WAS at risk, it would be totally hypocritical to suddenly become all anguished and ‘moral’ about other people’s choices at this point, don’t you think?

     

    We think a lot, on this ‘site, about women who are at risk of unintentional motherhood — but men are also at risk.  No man is going to be happy to learn that he’s become a father if that isn’t something he planned, so abortion has gotten men out of tough spots as surely as it’s eased the burden on women.  

     

    I point that out in order to tell you that in my younger days I, too, "wasn’t opposed to abortion".  Whenever I commenced a sexual relationship with a woman I would discuss what to do in the event that our involvement resulted in a pregnancy.  Every woman I had this conversation with told me, without hesitation, that she would get an abortion.  I suppose, in those days, I would have gotten very nervous if a woman told me she’d be counting on my child support checks.

     

    So, by your reckoning, I’m a hypocrite because when I was at risk of unwanted fatherhood I was using abortion as my ‘ace in the hole’.  Now that I’m ‘out of danger’ I take the position with younger men that they ought to be more responsible than I was and be more attuned to the reality of their reproductivity.

     

    How can I live with myself????

     

    When I look back on those carefree days I get angry because I now believe that I’d been duped into disregarding my own natural powers.  I was a product of the Zeitgeist and I believed that initiating an unwanted pregnancy would be a nuisance — but a nuisance that could be dealt with.

     

    Crowepps, when I advise younger men not to do as I did and to steer clear of the attitude I had, I don’t do it to "bind burdens on the backs of other people and force them to carry them only after the point where I would never be at risk of carrying them myself."  I do it because I don’t want them to fall short of respecting themselves.

     

    You must imagine that I like wagging my finger at young men "I could then scorn and patronize and lecture and to whom I could feel smugly superior."  It’s almost exactly the opposite!  I want to give them the opportunity to live out their youth in a way that is superior to the way I lived out mine.

     

    From my vantage point, a big part of reproductive health is reproductive mental health.  If I could spare just one man what I went through I would feel that my mistakes did somebody some good.  I am confident that if I tell a young man that he ought to take a protective stance toward his unborn children I am giving him good direction.

     

    I wish somebody I trusted had had that talk with me when I was of the age. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • colleen

    I recall the commenter who calls hirself ‘Truth’ saying as much in one of the comment threads shortly after the murder.

    Quite so Emma. ‘Truth’ waxed lyrical about the deep upwelling of joy he felt upon news of Tiller’s death. Others were attacking Tiller’s character before his body had even cooled and, of course, not one would admit that the abortions Tiller performed were medically necessary and that the whole disgusting lot of them would far rather see women and little girls die than be allowed a late term, medically necessary abortion. Indeed NOT ONE would admit that these abortions were medically necessary. Apparently the notion that women (and raped little girls) never die as a result of their pregnancies is some sort of article of faith.
    It was an revolting display but fairly predictable coming, as it did, from people who believe that running around with enormous photographs of dismembered (miscarried) fetuses is acceptable to most people and insisting that zygotes are ‘very young persons’is a compelling and moral arguments.
    One thing that my time reading these people has taught me: fundamentalist religions create followers who are willing and eager to justify any behavior and deny any reality in pursuit of their fatally flawed morality.

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • paul-bradford

    there was no link to any political agenda. 

     

    Jodi,

     

    I didn’t think there was any political agenda behind Tiller’s death either — but that didn’t keep me from ripping Pro-Lifers for dehumanizing him by calling him ‘Tiller the Killer’ and so forth.  You don’t have to actually conspire to murder someone in order to be complicit in their demise.

     

    I challenge those on the ‘Choice’ side to consider the words they use.  Are you turning those who disagree with you into monsters — or are you mindful of the possibility that they’re operating (as you are) on the basis of deeply held beliefs about the right way people ought to be treated.

     

    My message is: value the people who disagree with you! 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    making a personal commitment to ACT MYSELF and demonstrate to the otherwise invisible people with whom I interact every day that THEY have value.

     

    crowepps,

     

    You have to be careful…  Every now and then somebody who’s ‘talking the talk’ is also ‘walking the walk’.

     

    The entire focus of my career is to give comfort to the elderly and to those with severe and persistent mental illness.  The people, in other words, that are easily overlooked.

     

    It actually feels good to actually do it.

     

    As to my ‘assumptions’.  This is what I actually wrote: "You can certainly correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m betting that the ‘double meaning’ in your sentence didn’t even occur to you."  Well, what was it?  When you wrote "THEY aren’t the ones who are going to be paying the price" were you thinking that the ones who WERE going to pay the price were women — or were you thinking that they were the unborn.

     

    If you were thinking about the unborn I certainly was, as I suggested I might be, in need of correction.  If you weren’t thinking of that meaning then I suggest that you weren’t because you’re not accustomed to considering matters from the perspective of a fetus.

     

    By the way, I didn’t say you ‘need’ to adopt a Pro-Life perspective.  I proposed that you would have a deeper appreciation for the humanity of the very young if you did.

     

    But please, don’t keep me guessing!  Please answer the following questions in your own words so that it doesn’t seem as if I’m putting words in your mouth:

    1)Do you find yourself thinking, "what about the best interests of the unborn" when you think about abortion?

    2)Do you believe that ‘non-breathers’ have lives that are as valuable as ‘breathers’?

    3) Do you think that abortion is a tragedy?

    4) Do you think that zygotes are people (by the way, I don’t consider such people to be MORE valuable than ‘walking around’ people.  I think that they’re EQUALLY valuable in terms of the value of human life.)

    5) Do you care about the well-being of the unborn? 

     

    I (perhaps stupidly) think that I already know how you’ll answer these questions but I’m ready to have it proven that I’m suffering from a ‘persistent delusion’.

     

    I don’t want YOU to be under the delusion that I think that those who care about the unborn are being ‘correct’.  If I were to suggest a ‘correct’ approach it would simply be to care more about more people.  I’ve met many people who seem to care a great deal about the unborn but very little about anyone else.  I would certainly suggest your name as someone who is far more ‘correct’ than the likes of these. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • colleen

    You must imagine that I like wagging my finger at young men “I could then scorn and patronize and lecture and to whom I could feel smugly superior.” It’s almost exactly the opposite! I want to give them the opportunity to live out their youth in a way that is superior to the way I lived out mine.

    Please Paul, you post here (which is by no means a forum for young men) where you endlessly wag your finger at women and occasionally enable and encourage abusive behaviors from the worst sort of men. And yes, I believe that you enjoy both activities a great deal.

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • paul

    I would certainly concede that there are some crazy folks on BOTH sides of the issue, as the murders of Dr. Tiller and Jim Pouillon tragically illustrate.  My grievance is with those who would paint the entire movement of EITHER side with such a wide brush.  The reality is that, besides a small number of exceptions, neither pro-lifers nor pro-choicers want to see the dead bodies of their opponents stacked up in heaps, they want to see their opponents see the error of their ways and change their minds.

     

    "And seriously…rejoicing at GT’s clinic being closed is much the same thing as rejoicing at his being murdered, given that the former was a direct result of the latter."

     

    There are ends that people wish to achieve, and then there is the means taken to get that end.  People may agree on a given end but disagree sharply about the means taken to get to that end.  Pro-lifers agree that closing Tiller’s clinic is a good end, but the vast majority recognize that killing him is not a justifiable means to achieve that end.  I would guess that most pro-choicers would say the same thing about Pouillan; they agree that stopping him from showing the disturbing signs outside a high school is a good thing, but killing him is not a justifiable means to that end.

     

    "If there are any women who’ve died due to pregnancy complications as a result of the clinic’s closure, well, you’re celebrating that, too."

     

    How does that follow, exaclty?  Many innocent people died during the slave revolt led by Nat Turner.  Does that mean I celebrate the killing of those innocent people whenever I celebrate the abolition of slavery? 

     

    "Anti-choicers are pro-murder, and wishing that fact away won’t change it."

     

    If this is the obvious and irrefutable fact that you claim it is, I would like to see evidence.  Show me what study, scientific poll, or whatever else you may have that shows that all pro-lifers would like to see abortion doctors murdered.  

     

    "You’re also in favour of laws that kill women, but then protest that oh no, you’re not really pathologically misogynistic. You just don’t mind seeing a few women die from unsafe abortion in the Greater Quest to Save the Foetuses."

     

    Explain which law I am in favor of that kills women. 

  • paul

    "Paul, the reason that people came to the conclusion that some member of the Pro-Life groups were gloating was because of their public pronouncements — ‘murder is terrible but –‘  and the history of similar comments when the OTHER doctors were killed and when OTHER people were killed in clinic bombings."

     

    Let me ask you this: if there was someone out there publicly doing acts that you thought were gravely evil, and that person was murdered by vigilantes, but other people continued to do those same acts publicly, what would you say about the murder victim?  Would you condemn the murder and then say that this guy/gal and did a lot of wonderful things in his or her lifetime? 

     

    Let’s say you found out that a prison guard at Guantanamo who brutally tortured prisoners was murdered by vigilantes, and you had good reason to believe that there were other guards who were still torturing prisoners.  What would you say in a press release about this guard?  The honest thing to say would be something like "look, this guard should not have been murdered, we offer our condolences to his family but we cannot condone the actions he took in life against prisoners, and the torture of prisoners needs to stop."  

     

    What is wrong with that? 

     

    Regarding Randall Terry, well, from what I remember from his statement, I thought it was pretty awful too.  However, setting up Terry as the poster boy for the entire pro-life movement is off-base, as his arguments, tactics, and press releases are often criticized by the rest of the pro-life movement.  Gingi Edmonds doesn’t sound much better.

     

    I’m glad you brought up Dan Holman, because he basically refutes the whole argument that ‘all pro-lifers are pro-murder’ when he admits that he isn’t accepted by the greater pro-life movement because of his views on the use of violent force here: http://www.armyofgod.com/danholman.html (sorry, hyperlink button isn’t working for me).

     

    "Having an honest debate should include the fact that some people have ignoble motives and secretly gloat over misfortunes suffered by the other ‘camp’." 

     

    It should also include the facts that these people are on both sides of the issue and are not representative of the majority of their respective movements. 

  • larry-j

    I’m sure colleen’s never posted anything to offend anybody.

  • larry-j

    I’m so glad that she maintained her composure while basically accusing me of being a liar.  She deserves a cookie.

  • larry-j

    Especially considering that a couple of people here are “alarmed” by my remarks (and someone wondered if I may be “dangerous”) I think that I should do something to clarify what I think about the terrorism issue. I don’t feel like going back and forth and back again over this. Instead, I’m just going to copy and paste a portion of a chat I had with a friend early in June.

    :LJ: do you think that the tiller killing was terrorism?
    :NA: Violence only begets violence.  
    :NA: I may deplore what the man does, but I do not want to be a murderer myself.
    :LJ: i don’t think that he is a terrorist
    :LJ: some religious nutjob thought he had a mission to stop him (or maybe punish him)
    :LJ: he’s an assassin in my opinion- like lee harvey oswald
    :NA: OK I guess it’s a matter of definition.  
    :NA: Did he just want to get rid of him, or scare others in the process.
    :LJ: that’s what i’m saying- if he just wanted to get rid of tiller ,then he wasn’t a terrorist.
    :LJ: looks like he was obsessed- like sirhan sirhan was with rfk
    :LJ: apparently tiller was a flashpoint in kansaas- because of the late term stuff
    :NA: Well, if there weren’t so darn many guns around, maybe there wouldn’t be so many kooks using themon others.
    :LJ: the gun folks are right that there’s constitutional reight- i’d amend it back out
    :LJ: we can do that when we pass a human life amendment :)
    :LJ: anyway i’m just saying that you can’t go crying ‘terrorism’ whenever a prominent member of your group gets killed
    :NA: Is someone  doing thT?
    :LJ: doing which?
    :NA: MAKING A CLAIM OF TERRORISM.
    :NA: Sorry my caps lock was on.
    :LJ: yes, eversince the tiller killing pretty much all of the pro-choicers
    :LJ: some jerks saying pro-lifers should be waterboarded
    :NA: No moderation in anything I guess. Not like kiling is part of the Right-to Life creed!
    :LJ: there has been anti-abortion terrorism (blowing up clinics for sure)
    :LJ: killing people just working at a clinc- or that crazy lady who shot a bunch of abortionists – definitely
    :NA: It is not approved by any Right to Life organization – just the fringers.
    :LJ: what about the people following doctors around?
    :NA: There are laws against stalking. They should be prosecuted.
    :LJ: i meant, if it’s organized and it’s meant to scare people- is that terrorism?

    Larry

    PS: In case anyone is wondering, I do not condone and I do condemn assassination, terrorism, stalking, and violence generally.

  • larry-j

    The pro-life ideology is that late term abortions are just as immoral, but no more so than first trimester abortions.  Singling them out is something that pro-life politicians and organizations do for political gain, and I think it is hypocritical.

  • larry-j

    "If your point is that insulting ‘a whole category of people’ is wrong
    and shouldn’t be allowed, you might want to scale back on the sweeping
    statements about all pro-choicers or all women who get abortions or
    even all women for that matter."

     

    That
    is my point.  I do not believe that I have insulted women or
    pro-choicers as a category.  I have insulted individual women and
    pro-choicers on this site.

  • kate-ranieri

    Larry J,

    This copy & paste tactic is akin to flaming or shouting. It’s in your face behavior that only serves to add additional data to the claim that you seem to be on edge. 

  • jodi-jacobson

    Paul,

    Honestly, if you don’t see that there was a political agenda behind Tiller’s death, then I think you are quite frankly choosing purposefully to be ignorant in that matter.  I simply can’t say more.  The evidence is powerful and overwhelming.  And to this day, members of anti-choice groups are streaming to visit Roeder in prison.

    This is verifiable fact.

    And as for the political purpose, ask our friend Jill Stanek and others on this list why they use the language they use, why they used language more thinly veiled than plastic wrap to say about Tiller’s death, "too bad, but…" and then immediately post pictures of Dr. Carhart’s clinic on their site.  Again, I could go on but you need to either do your homework yourself or admit that you are simply unwilling to accept the evidence.

    These are two profoundly different situations.  Someone, unlinked to any organization, movement or agenda, killed two people this past week.  I am no more or less appalled by the death of Mr. Pouillon than I am by Mr. Fuoss.  (And let’s remember there were two people killed and at least one more on the list).

    We reported it as the facts were known.  But we are not the metro page for the country and we do not focus on reporting homicides on a daily basis per se.  We are a progressive pro-choice online publication.  To the extent that we knew someone with an anti-choice position was killed, we immediately reported it, and stated our position against the use of violence. 

    Given that these were random–though grievous–acts of violence, there really is not much more for us to say.

    As for valuing people who disagree with me?  I have said repeatedly and will say again:  I honor your right to believe what you feel and to act in your personal life according to your religious beliefs.  I do not honor nor do you have the right to impose your religious or moral beliefs on me or my sisters, daughters, mothers, friends and others.

    That is a line that it appears many in the anti-choice community just simply are not able to see.

    Jodi

  • paul-bradford

    by Judy L. Thomas

     

    The list of those visiting and communicating with the man accused of killing Wichita abortion provider George Tiller reads like a who’s who of anti-abortion militants.

     

    Two convicted clinic bombers. The man behind the Army of God Web site. Several activists who once signed a declaration that defended the killing of abortion providers.

     

    And federal agents have now talked to many of them.

     

    As Scott Roeder sits in the Sedgwick County Jail awaiting trial on murder charges, a federal investigation is under way to determine whether there was a conspiracy involved in Tiller’s death.

     

    Abortion-rights advocates say Roeder’s contacts since the shooting raise questions.

     

    "This is definitely a concern," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. "This guy has been in the hard-core anti-abortion circle for a long time, and there has been a pattern of communication and encouragement among these people."

     

    Those supporting Roeder say there is no conspiracy, no matter who contacts him.

     

    "The only way they’re going to prove that is if they make one up," said Jennifer McCoy, who served time in prison for trying to burn down abortion clinics in Virginia in the 1990s and now lives in Wichita.

     

    McCoy, who has visited Roeder several times in jail, said she called the FBI and told agents that she planned to see Roeder.

     

    "I told them that they better have a dang good reason if they come ask me any questions, and that I had every intention of going to visit him and talk to him," said McCoy, who also attended Roeder’s preliminary hearing on July 28. "I didn’t know him before, but now I have no problem visiting him."

     

    FBI and U.S. Justice Department officials declined to comment on the investigation.

     

    The federal investigation into the possible existence of a conspiracy began after Tiller — one of a handful of doctors in the country who performed late-term abortions — was shot in the foyer of his Wichita church on May 31 while serving as an usher.

     

    Roeder, 51, of Kansas City, was charged with first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty, and a trial is scheduled for Sept. 21.

     

    Roeder’s bond was originally set at $5 million, but a judge raised it to $20 million after Roeder called the Associated Press on June 7 and warned that there were "many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal."

     

    Contacted by agents

     

    Several Kansas City-area anti-abortion activists told the Kansas City Star that they have been contacted by the FBI. Among them are Anthony Leake and Eugene Frye, who have made regular trips to Wichita to visit Roeder.

     

    Frye said he was contacted within a few days of Tiller’s murder because he and another activist had said in interviews that they had seen Roeder two weeks before the shooting.

     

    "The FBI came around and wanted to know what we knew about his activity and whether he said anything," Frye said. "I knew Scott for 15 years. Never one time did he ever give any indication that he was going to do anything violent."

     

    Frye said the idea of a conspiracy "is just ludicrous" and amounts to "nothing more than a witch hunt." He said he is visiting Roeder in jail because he wants to help Roeder talk through using a justifiable homicide defense if that is his wish.

     

    "He’s entitled to publicly tell his reason why he did what he did," Frye said. "Whether he gets found guilty, that’s up to the courts."

     

    Leake, who for years has vocally supported the use of force against abortion providers, said he is not talking to authorities and has forwarded their inquiries to his attorney.

     

    He said he didn’t think anyone persuaded Roeder to go after Tiller.

     

    "I don’t believe anyone in good conscience could encourage someone to take a step like that," Leake said. "That’s something they’d have to do on their own."

     

    He added, however, that "I support the shooting of George Tiller as justifiable homicide. I only wish that it would have happened in 1973, before he was able to murder his first child."

     

    Frye and several other abortion foes have been placed on the prosecution’s witness list in the case.

     

    Among them is Shelley Shannon, the woman who shot and wounded Tiller in 1993. Investigators won’t say why she is on the list, but the Rev. Donald Spitz, the director of Pro-Life Virginia, who calls Roeder an "American hero," said Shannon has been writing letters from prison encouraging people to support Roeder.

     

    And in an interview last month, Roeder told the Star that he had visited Shannon when she was serving time in prison in Topeka for shooting Tiller. Shannon is now serving a 20-year sentence for a series of clinic bombings and arsons in the Pacific Northwest.

     

    Also on the witness list is McCoy, who was sentenced in 1997 to 2 1/2 years in prison for two Virginia clinic arsons and is now living in Wichita. She told the Star she had been "sidewalk counseling" outside Tiller’s clinic at least once a week for years.

     

    McCoy, who used to go by the name Jennifer Patterson Sperle, said she had visited Roeder several times "and I intend on going back, because while he’s here, he just needs to know that people care about what happens to him."

     

    Letters in jail

     

    In addition to his visitors, Roeder has received scores of letters in jail.

     

    Among the writers are Spitz, who operates the Army of God Web site, which advocates killing abortion providers; Dave Leach of Iowa, who once published the Army of God manual, a "how to" book on clinic violence; and Michael Bray of Ohio, who spent four years in prison for the firebombings of abortion-related facilities on the East Coast in the 1980s. Bray also wrote the book "A Time to Kill," which offers religious arguments for using force to stop abortion.

     

    All three, who confirmed they’ve written to Roeder, signed a 1993 declaration advocating the use of force against abortion providers. The petition was circulated by Paul Hill, who shot an abortion provider and his escort to death in Pensacola, Fla., in 1994.

     

    Spitz said he also talks to Roeder by telephone every week.

     

    "We talk about defending the unborn with the use of force, but we don’t talk about his particular case," Spitz said. "I sent him some Paul Hill pamphlets, and recently he requested Mike Bray’s book."

     

    Spitz said he mailed the book to Roeder’s lawyers, but Roeder said they would not give it to him until he went to prison.

     

    Spitz said he had not been contacted recently by any authorities. If they do come calling, he said, he won’t talk to them.

     

    He said there is no conspiracy to commit violence.

     

    "I think people now know not to discuss anything with anybody because they don’t want to implicate others," he said.

     

    Spitz said he communicates with Shannon frequently and added that she was upset to learn she was on the prosecution’s witness list.

     

    Bray, whose name also appears on the prosecution’s witness list, told the Star that he’d been trading letters with Roeder since Roeder’s arrest.

     

    Bray said he had not been contacted by authorities, but he thinks he knows why.

     

    "I always tell the FBI when they come around, if you want me to help you find something on such-and-such, I’ll do that," he said. "But if you want to find someone who’s trying to save babies, I’ve got nothing to say to you. So they don’t ever bother coming around anymore."

     

    Another activist who has been communicating with Roeder is Linda Wolfe of McMinnville, Ore. Wolfe said she’s been sending money to Roeder at the request of her friend, Shelley Shannon.

     

    "She wrote me a letter and said, ‘Please send him some money. I was there seven months. The food is horrible.’ I sent him $20 or $30, then I sent him $30 the first of July, and I told him I’ll send him $30 the first of every month."

     

    Wolfe said Roeder sent her a letter and a pamphlet that praised Paul Hill.

     

    "I just trashed it," she said. "I told him I really believe he’s wrong and that I hoped we could work through this. He needs to be kept uplifted."

     

    Roeder has sent the Paul Hill pamphlets to numerous people, including his ex-wife, Lindsey Roeder. In a June 12 letter, Roeder included the Hill brochure and an article about Tiller’s death called "The Just End to a Violent, Wicked Man."

     

    The article, written by Dan Holman of Missionaries to the Pre-Born Iowa, defended Tiller’s murder and criticized abortion opponents who have condemned the killing.

     

    Also included was a handwritten note to Roeder from Holman. The note said: "Hang in there, Scott. Don’t deny the truth or the humanity of the pre-born."

     

     

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • jodi-jacobson

    Political agenda.

    Jodi

  • colleen

    Explain which law I am in favor of that kills women.

    The thing about the late term abortions Dr Tiller performed is that they were all MEDICALLY NECESSARY. The religious right might not like to admit it it but it is a fact that each and every late term abortion Dr Tiller performed was medically necessary and that two Doctors had to concur in that opinion.
    When you folks refuse to accept this or, as I believe you and most certainly your Church are doing, hope to reach the point where the lives of a certain number of women and little girls are a legal sacrifice to your twisted priorities then you support laws that kill women.
    Dr Tiller’s work saved the lives of women and girls. That’s why he performed abortions. When you would legally deny women and girls that life saving service you, the Catholic hierarchy and the anti-abortion movement are absolutely complicit in their unnecessary deaths.

    See the ‘pro-life’ paradise of Nicaragua as an example of the less than compassionate results of the anti-abortion ideology.
    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2009/09/10/nicaragua-the-reality-abortion-restrictions-revealed

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • paul-bradford

    Honestly, if you don’t see that there was a political agenda behind Tiller’s death, then I think you are quite frankly choosing purposefully to be ignorant in that matter.  I simply can’t say more.  The evidence is powerful and overwhelming.  And to this day, members of anti-choice groups are streaming to visit Roeder in prison.

     

    This is verifiable fact. 

     

    Jodi,

     

    I posted the Kansas City Star article because 1) It’s no longer up on their ‘site and 2) I wanted to get you to realize that I’m guilty neither of bias nor of ignorance.

     

    Before he died, there were oodles of Pro-Life activists who wanted to close Tiller’s clinic down.  They tried dozens of strategies and worked hard for decades to try and stop him.  At no point did they ever consider the strategy of murdering him.  That was the idea of a single individual.

     

    But I’m at a loss to understand what you objected to in my post.

     

    My point was that even though Pro-Lifers (except for one) were not directly complicit in his murder most of them bear some of the blame for his death. The people I referred to are the Pro-Life activists weren’t crazy (or evil) enough to want him murdered but who engaged in loose talk about him both before and after he died. Here’s what I wrote on my website on June 4. Please read it before criticizing my point of view.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • christopher-f-vota

    Christopher F. Vota, on troll patrol

     

    I’ve just read a sister-in-law of the gravel pit owner killed in this crime spree said the victim had employed the suspect’s mother ten years ago. By now, the info is readily available the suspect had at least one other person on his agenda and the cops got there first. Every person this definitely suicidal but still alleged perpetrator wanted dead MAY have had a pro-life stance, but I doubt the reason for this spree was what the trolls would have the world believe: pro-choice push-back to the Tiller assassination. This truck driver had multiple scores to settle, possibly assisted by some Mexi-meth. Has Roeder’s attorneys said they’ll use a Twinkie defense? Don’t be too surprised if you see Glenn Beck link Van Jones and Barack Obama to this one. The more one believes the contortionist logic from the Right, the more likely one will craft this would-be mass-murderer into some pro-choice monster that exists only within their collective psychosis.

  • kate-ranieri

    Antichoice is accurate for some because they offer one choice which "My way or the highway" (apologize for the phrase). No sex (as in before heterosexual marriage, between two men, two women, so forth), no contraception, no abortion. No, No, No.

     My read is that RHRC showed plenty of respect as did Planned Parenthood in Michigan. It’s just not enough for you.

     

    Again, no one should resort to murder. But as evidenced by Mr. Drake’s latest attempt on killing, this time he was his own target, the man is disturbed.  

  • paul-bradford

    Paul, you post here (which is by no means a forum for young men)

     

    My understanding is that this is a ‘site devoted to Reproductive Health.  No one can say s/he has a clear understanding of human reproductivity unless s/he recognizes that it’s the business of both men and women.  My observation is that our society pays a great deal of attention to the reproductivity of women, but neglects to realize that men represent half of the problem (and half of the solution if you want to be optimistic).

     

    You say that I’m too keyed into the reproductive function of women.  I say that you’re not sufficiently mindful of the reproductive function of men.

     

    I’ll keep repeating this because it’s what I truly believe.  Men cause more abortions than women do and if you want to eliminate abortion you have to start by focusing on the behavior of males.

     

    I know you hate hearing that. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • jodi-jacobson

    Paul,

    I have no objection to your  posting the article.  I merely said it only proves my point.

    You say:

    At no point did they ever consider the strategy of murdering him.  That was the idea of a single individual.

    To say that the actions of these groups were not part of the chain of events that lead Scott Roeder to act is naive at best; I am sorry.

    He was part of the pattern; he had prior contact with members of these groups; in the weeks before one of those members was giving him detailed info on Tiller’s whereabouts and so on.  He was a follower of these groups and their cause.  And for one thing, Army of God (as they so meekly call themselves) DID in deed call for killing and still does, as do others, whether veiled or not.

    Moreover, they are complicit in this in the same way that people who use race-baiting in political campaigns are at fault for perpetuating racism, and the way that people who vilify gay people are at fault for perpetuating fear and hatred against gay people, sometimes leading deluded indiviiduals to act upon that hatred.  It’s all part of a fabric.

    There are many examples of killers who kill out of delusion with no link to a party, campaign or other effort.  This is not one of them.  This was and still remains a campaign.

    Indeed, if in fact immediately following the killing of a security guard at the Holocaust museum was linked to an act of domestic terrorism because of the links–however tenuous–of that killer to Nazi sympathizer and anti-semitic groups, this example in Tiller’s case has far, far more evidence.

    Not to see it is to simply choose to ignore it.

    Jodi

  • paul-bradford

    Jodi,

     

    You and I look at things differently.  You see two sides: The Reproductive Rights advocates and the anti-choice conspiracy.  I, too, see two sides: The violence escalators and the violence de-escalators.  I’m urging you to move from the ‘escalator’ camp into the ‘de-escalator’ camp. 

     

    It seems to me that you keep goading me into a discussion about which ‘side’ is more at fault for escalating the violence. I, on the other hand, am thinking about what kind of future we’re going to have.  Are we going to have respectful and productive conversations, or are we going to use words only as a prelude to violence.

     

    Right now it is VITAL than there be a de-escalation in the rhetoric.  The crisis is even more pronounced than it was in the days following Tiller’s shooting.  You’ve got a lot of power, Jodi, just because of your position and you can decide whether you’re going to be a violence escalator or a violence de-escalator.

     

    I suggest that you could de-escalate the violence by dropping the term ‘anti-choice’ from your vocabulary.  ‘Anti-choice’ is not a description.  It’s a taunt.  It’s just as bad as ‘pro-abortion’.  When the two sides taunt each other, violence escalates.  When the two sides treat each other with respect, violence de-escalates.

     

    You can have a passionate disagreement with someone and still maintain full regard for her/his humanity.  When you toss around a term like ‘anti-choice’ you’re simply being dehumanizing.

     

    That’s what you have the power to do.  I’m urging you to use that power. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • ahunt

    I didn’t think there was any political agenda behind Tiller’s death either

     

    Rubbish, on its face, and you know it, Paul. The distinctions are profound. I do not need to parrot Jodi’s evidence, but…to ignore/parse it is disingenuous at best, and fundamentally dishonest at worst,

  • jodi-jacobson

    ridiculous.

     

    As i have said before, the people who seek to deny women access to contraception, abortion, sex, and so on are in fact anti-choice.  Plain and simple.  I see that there are two sides and believe people have the right to make the choices that best fit their own circumstances, beliefs and ethical considerations.  I respect that people who believe otherwise have the right to make those choices for themselves, but not for others.

     

    Anti-choice actors believe everyone should act according to the anti-choice vision of the world—they believe their moral and ethical code is the only one and that everyone must abide by it.

    That is fundamentally, profoundly and clearly anti-choice.

    To say that I am a "violence escalator" is absurd on its face.  And it is avoiding the issue….the anti-choice movement clearly uses language they feel will best present their insidious purposes as "beneficial" or "positive" when they want to (e.g. calling themselves "pro-life," which is in fact not appropriate) and uses violent and demeaning language when they want to incite their followers.  The pro-choice movement has never done any such thing, and nor have I.

    Jodi

  • ahunt

    Once again, there are profound distinctions, Paul.

  • ahunt

    I would certainly concede that there are some crazy folks on BOTH sides
    of the issue, as the murders of Dr. Tiller and Jim Pouillon tragically
    illustrate.

     

    Uhm, you are not suggesting that pro-choicers inspire radical fringe groups that directly and indirectly support violence against abortion providers, are you? Not yet, anyway.

     

     

  • paul-bradford

    hi ahunt:

     

    Pro-Lifers were tempted to argue, "he deserved it" when Tiller was killed and the Reproductive Rights community is faced with the same temptation now with respect to Jim Pouillon.  My earnest appeal to you is that you simply don’t go there.  Did Pouillon deserve it more than Tiller????  No matter how you answer the question you end up justifying violence.  

     

    Neither man was a monster, neither man was a saint.  But people are clinging to those distortions.  The distortions fuel the mythology the underlies the rationale for continued conflict. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

     

    Anti-choice actors believe everyone should act according to the anti-choice vision of the world—they believe their moral and ethical code is the only one and that everyone must abide by it.

     

    Jodi,

     

    You and I share an evolutionary heritage that has given us both brains that are capable of moral and logical thought.  "My" logic isn’t any different from "your" logic.  If we couldn’t get our thoughts to line up we wouldn’t be human.  To deny that the members of a human society can come to an agreement on who we do, and who we don’t have to treat morally is to consign everyone to despair.

     

    You abide by the code that says I have human rights.  I abide by the code that says you have human rights.  Neither one of us has the choice to opt out of that code.  Who imposed that code on us???  Did you impose it on me?  Did I impose it on you?

     

    Submitting to the idea of ‘human rights’ is a membership requirement for being in a human community.  We do it naturally.  It’s the way our brains are wired up.  Natural selection ‘imposed’ it on us.  Our species has carved out a niche for cognitive thought, for language and for morality.  No single person or force invented it or imposed it.  It’s been around as long as humanity has been around.  It’s not ‘religious’ or ‘cultural’ or ‘trendy’.  It’s blood and guts — and to deny it is to deny your own guts.

     

    I would find it much more persuasive if you got as bent-out-of-shape as I get and said, "anybody who hasn’t drawn his first breath doesn’t get to have human rights.  Period.  It’s positively immoral for a woman to bring a pregnancy to term if she isn’t 100% sure she’s ready to be a mother.  It’s totally unacceptable to elevate a clump of cells to the status of human being."  That I’d respect.  I wouldn’t feel utterly dehumanized to hear that.

     

    To say, "your mother gets to decide whether you have rights or not and each mother gets to decide for her own child" is plain nuts.  When does my mother stop being in charge and when are my rights immune to her whim?  Is it ‘anti-choice’ for me to expect an answer to that question or do you suggest that we all come up with our own answers to the question.

     

    I said earlier that I wouldn’t demean the Reproductive Rights community by using an epithet like ‘pro abortion’.  I’m not into calling people names.  But lately it’s been seeming to me that it’s more life affirming to be pro-abortion than it is to be Pro-Choice if Pro-Choice means that everyone decides for her/himself who gets human rights. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    Let’s make sure I understand what we’re saying.  We both agree, I hope, that there was no conspiracy behind the Pouillon shooting.  Can we agree on that much???

     

    Now, to the question of whether there was more than one person in on the Tiller shooting — how many people were ‘in the know’ besides Scott Roeder?  Was it a conspiracy?  How widespread was the conspiracy?  How much planning was involved?

     

    I posted that Kansas City Star article which, to my mind, suggested that there might have been a conspiracy but that there were still loose ends.  I happen to think Roeder acted alone.  But let’s just say, for the purpose of discussion, that there were one thousand people in on it before George Tiller was shot.

     

    Even in that case there would still be MILLIONS of Pro-Lifers who weren’t in on it.  Not directly.  I contend that there were millions of Pro-Lifers who had no foreknowledge, whatsoever, about plans to kill Tiller.  My point, and I’ll make it again, is that EVEN THOUGH they had no foreknowledge or complicity many of them had a hand in Tiller’s death because they regularly used irresponsible speech.

     

    If you use irresponsible speech you are creating a climate of violence — even if you don’t know the first thing about any specific plan to do violence.

     

    That goes for people on both sides of the debate. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • crowepps

    Whether you are a hypocrite is a judgment which only you are qualified to make. Your conclusion has no bearing on my own judgment of how integrity requires me to behave.

    It is absolutely AMAZING how many middle-aged men discover when their libidos are dimming and their sex life has become fantasy more than reality that young men who are acting exactly the same way they did in THEIR youth need helpful guidance so they won’t ‘regret’ things. I would imagine it’s really hard for anyone, even themselves, to tell whether those regrets are for the thoughtlessness of their youthful actions or whether the regrets are for the passing of their youth with a soupcon of plain envy that someone else is young and vital and strong while they approach death.

    Probably those unthinking young men whose actions you deplore will do all the same things you did and then make themselves feel better as they approach senescence by fulminating about how the current crop of young men should be prevented from enjoying themselves.

  • colleen

    If you use irresponsible speech you are creating a climate of violence

    You yourself regularly speak of zygotes as ‘children’ and ‘very young persons’. A couple of days ago you actually referred to the loss of your ‘sister’ when discussing your mother’s ectopic pregnancy Clearly that is irresponsible and profoundly manipulative speech which contributes greatly to a climate of violence and has for 35 years or more.
    I can understand why you folks would want to be called ‘pro-life’ but to insist on it would be tantamount to insisting that we lie. You might not want to face the truth but the fact of the matter is that from George Bush to Antonin Scalia and the ‘pro-life’ laws of Nicaragua and books full of other evidence there is nothing pro-life about the anti-abortion movement and the results of it’s ideology are universally profoundly immoral.

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • colleen

    Paul,
    As usual you misunderstand my meaning and, again as usual, you attribute to me attitudes that are laughably inaccurate.

    I did not mean to imply that discussions about male responsibility were out of place here. Only that I’ve never seen you wag your finger at young males or abusive ones like your buddy Larry and that most of the men who post here are the sort who are would be quite content if more women died in childbirth. We’ve even got one who occasionally insists that it’s good and healthy for teenaged girls to have babies. I was pointing out that your extensive finger wagging is directed entirely towards women. In this you resemble your fellow anti-choice males. Indeed when you and your fellow right wingers speak of male involvement at all (which is seldom) the discussion is usually framed in terms of male rights and almost never male responsibility.

    You say that I’m too keyed into the reproductive function of women.

    No I would hardly describe you as ‘keyed into’. I think you’re obsessed with the reproductive organs and functions of women and enjoy trying to establish a peculiar sort of false intimacy which you’re certainly not entitled to and which I, personally, find fairly unpleasant.

    I say that you’re not sufficiently mindful of the reproductive function of men.

    Right. Well you must not mind looking rather silly then

    I know you hate hearing that.

    You know nothing about me at all. Indeed you have grown less perceptive during the time you’ve been posting here.
    I was attempting to suggest to you that American men, on the whole, are doing a really crappy job of (to paraphrase you and Chairman Mao) holding up their portion of the sky and that rather than indulge yourself in finger wagging at pro-choice women and enabling men who are with obvious anger management problems you could do something that would actually be useful.

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • crowepps

    Oh, gee, my favorite type of post — ‘answer these loaded questions and you’ll agree I’m right’

     

    No, I don’t think about “the best interests of the unborn” when I think about abortion. I think about the women in a situation where their lives do not allow them to “want” their pregnancies and the injustice of a society that keeps them in a position where everything they do is considered wrong by somebody. At that point the unborn don’t HAVE any interests.

     

    No, ‘non-breathers’ do not have lives that are as valuable as ‘breathers’ – that is because they haven’t ‘graduated’ to viability by successfully being born and proven their ability to breath.

     

    I think some abortions are tragedies, especially ones where if the women weren’t caught in an economic doublebind they would prefer to complete the pregnancy. In other cases, the PREGNANCY is the tragedy and the abortion is the solution (anencephaly, grossly deformed/nonviable fetus, dead fetus).

     

    No, of course zygotes aren’t people. Many zygotes are genetically incapable of ever having the capacity to develop into a person at all, some are capable of making a good start at the process but cannot complete it because of less serious genetic errors. Much farther along in the process some FETUSES have no capacity to survive. The process of pregnancy and birth is what sorts out viable from nonviable.

     

    Do I believe in the “well-being of the unborn” in what context? I’m not pro-birth defects. I’m not for forcing people to have abortions who don’t want them. Do I believe that everything possible should be done so that a pregnant woman isn’t exposed to the various pollutants that could harm her wanted fetus? You bet I do, no matter what harm that does to the economy. Do I believe that “the well-being of the unborn” is more important than the pregnant woman’s ability to lead a normal life? Nope, not at all.

     

    Paul, I’ve BEEN pregnant. I’m well aware of the fact that a woman going through a WANTED pregnancy spends an enormous amount of time obsessing about whether she’s being pregnant ‘correctly’ and about the horrible things that might be wrong with her baby and blames herself when she miscarries no matter how many doctors assure her it wasn’t her fault.

     

    One of my main objections to yout position is that you want couples to approach every sex act DWELLING on the “gloomy” possibility that they may create a zygote and have an unwanted pregnancy ruin their lives because they’ll get ‘stuck with’ a kid. You want to INCREASE the normal tensions of pregnancy to every possible moment of her reproductive life and have her greet every menstrual period with a feeling of doom and dismay because no matter how good her birth control is there just MAY have been a zygote created and she should feel RESPONSIBLE and GUILTY about not caring about its ‘well-being’. Women have enough problems with depression now – your ‘spiritual’ approach to ‘zygote friendly’ sex would cause the suicide rate to skyrocket.

  • crowepps

    Submitting to the idea of ‘human rights’ is a membership requirement for being in a human community. We do it naturally. It’s the way our brains are wired up. Natural selection ‘imposed’ it on us. Our species has carved out a niche for cognitive thought, for language and for morality. No single person or force invented it or imposed it. It’s been around as long as humanity has been around. It’s not ‘religious’ or ‘cultural’ or ‘trendy’. It’s blood and guts — and to deny it is to deny your own guts.

    This is just so totally wrong that I am astounded. Haven’t you ever read a history book? Read your statement again and then consider this excerpt from a recent Pat Buchanan column in which he defines the “human community”:

    In what sense are we one nation and one people anymore? For what is a nation if not a people of a common ancestry, faith, culture and language, who worship the same God, revere the same heroes, cherish the same history, celebrate the same holidays, and share the same music, poetry, art and literature?
    http://buchanan.org/blog/is-america-coming-apart-2159

    If you read the entire column you will see that he excludes the majority of Americans from being part of “one people” on the basis that they are NOT LIKE HIM.

  • paul-bradford

    "You yourself regularly speak of zygotes as ‘children’ and ‘very young persons’. A couple of days ago you actually referred to the loss of your ‘sister’ when discussing your mother’s ectopic pregnancy"

     

    Let me be quick to point out that what colleen says is completely true. I do consider zygotes (and blastocysts and embryos and fetuses) to be the children of the two people who contributed their DNA to them.  I do consider the unborn to be very young persons (and members of the human family). I also consider the children my mother miscarried to be brothers or sisters of mine — although I never got a chance to get to know them.

     

    My claim is that it would be irresponsible of me to call colleen anti-life in contrast to me being Pro-Life just as it would be irresponsible of colleen to call me anti-choice in contrast to her being Pro-Choice.

     

    We are all Pro-Choice and we are all Pro-Life and we need to recognize those qualities in the people we’re disagreeing with.  We are all Pro-Choice in the sense that we respect that everyone has the choice to do whatever they like with their property or their body parts.  We are all Pro-Life in the sense that we all agree that we have to respect a right to life for anyone with human rights.

     

    The reason we disagree isn’t that anyone is anti-life or anti-choice.  Our disagreement is about whether or not the unborn ought to be treated as human beings with human rights.  We should refer to ourselves and each other as pro-rights for the unborn or anti-rights for the products of conception.  That would demonstrate that we all understood and respected the other person’s point of view.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    Buchanan is an excluder and I find that a very un-Catholic position to take.  How you think that he and I are in agreement totally baffles me.

     

    The ‘common ancestry’ I refer to goes all the way back to the dawn of humanity.  I include everyone who is human.  I assert that, simply by being human, there is a tremendous commonality to the way we make sense of the world.  EVERYONE is ‘like me’ (and everyone is like Buchanan).

     

    The history books I’ve read demonstrate to me that people all around the world and in different ages have done a lot of the same things for a lot of the same reasons.  There are differences, but they’re trivial compared to the commonality we share.

     

    Some people think they’re ‘different’ or ‘special’ and that people who are not like them don’t count.  Those people are wrong, and they’ll do a lot better once they get their thinking straightened out.

     

    By the way, what is your position?  Do you think that some of us are ‘special’ or do you think we all share common human rights? 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • colleen

    We should refer to ourselves and each other as pro-rights for the unborn or anti-rights for the products of conception. That would demonstrate that we all understood and respected the other person’s point of view.

    Aren’t you funny.
    I love the way you make women disappear while pretending that you understand and respect our POV.

    Even your Pope is more honest when he equates “the liberation of women” with ‘evils’ like war and extreme poverty.

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • paul-bradford

    It actually isn’t about women, colleen. Women aren’t the people with the most to lose in an abortion.

     

    Women enter into the equation only when somebody comes up with a scheme to end abortion that involves trying to take away a woman’s right to bodily autonomy.  I consistently oppose such plans because they’re unfeasible, inappropriate and unlikely to be effective.  I always approach the problem with the firm understanding that the pregnant woman is the only one who has the authority to determine what interventions will be given to her, and what interventions will be given to her child.

     

    You may be right.  I may not understand your point of view, but I labor under the assumption that you and I are in agreement that no one but the woman herself should be able to determine what goes on in her body.  Please correct me if I’m wrong about this.

     

    My gripe is with ageism.  I’ve said over and over again that even if abortion is safe, legal, convenient and affordable women won’t access it unless it seems morally tenable to them.  The lie, spread by many, that the unborn are something less than fully human is what causes abortions.  Without it, abortion is morally untenable.  George Tiller said, "Trust Women".  I do.  Women will make the right decisions, on their own, without any prompting from me as soon as we stop lying about the very young.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • ahunt

    Paul…you keep insisting that women would make the choices you want them to make if only the world viewed the BZE as "people."

    What do you make of the significant percentage of women who essentially agree with you…and still obtain abortions?

  • paul-bradford

    ahunt,

     

    I’m thrilled that you’ve allowed the conversation to move away from the bogus issue of whether Pro-Life means anti-woman and to the true issue of how important it is for our society to decide, one way or another, who the ‘people’ are.

     

    Please alert me the next time a woman relates the story that she believed her unborn child had as much right to live as she did but decided to end her/his life anyway.  (Don’t bother if the story involves serious maternal or fetal illness).

     

    And, by the way, the issue for me isn’t limited to whether mothers decide to bring their pregnancies to term.  Appreciating the lives of the unborn has a tremendous impact on your appreciation of life itself irrespective of the abortion issue.  My mantra is, "More people should give more respect to more people."  Just to see the humanity in others — that’s reason enough to be Pro-Life. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • ahunt

    Missed this…

     Paul, were I the young woman he targeted and stalked, I might well consider him a "monster." 

     

     

  • ahunt

    Now, do not get excited, Paul. I was just wondering what you made of the reality that large numbers of women who claim the “pro-life” POV still are willing to access abortion.

    By all means…move the conversation. The stopper…once again…will be the “self-imposed” restrictions you envision all women of childbearing age embracing.

    Not gonna happen…

  • colleen

    It actually isn’t about women, colleen.

    I understand that you and your church would like that to be true and indeed that you would prefer to ignore the evidence of ‘pro-life’ paradises such as Nicaragua where it clearly isn’t about women ever. The problem is that when your beliefs are codified the actual, not theoretical, people who die and whose lives are diminished unbearably are always women. You can call that ‘moral’ if you like, God knows your church does.

    I don’t have much interest in sussing out your glaring contradictions or playing this game with you. I am not Catholic, do not wish to become one and do not share your beliefs. . I’m interested in preventing the murders of friends of mine who actually are ‘persons’ and who work in clinics, I’m interested in preventing the US from becoming a fundamentalist hell and suspect that is precisely where we are headed. A zygote is not a ‘child’ or a ‘person’ any more than a blueprint is a house. To insist otherwise is a manipulative lie .

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • crowepps

    I was respondng to your statement:

    Submitting to the idea of ‘human rights’ is a membership requirement for being in a human community. We do it naturally. It’s the way our brains are wired up. Natural selection ‘imposed’ it on us.

    We do NOT do it naturally. We do it as a by-product of REASON. Humans are instinctively xenophobic and ethnocentric, as is demonstrated by the fact that the names of most primitive tribes mean “The People” or “The Real People” and exclude everyone else. I do agree with you that people are much more alike than they are different, and that all people should be treated equally. The difficulty in persuading people to follow through with that is another demonstration of the fact that it is NOT the way our brains are wired.

    http://www.sociosite.net/topics/xenophobia.php#adaptive

  • paul

    "…it is a fact that each and every late term abortion Dr Tiller performed was medically necessary and that two Doctors had to concur in that opinion."

     

    It’s my understanding that the method George Tiller used most frequently in late term abortions was as follows:  inject digoxin into the fetus to stop its heart and kill it, induce labor (which can take as long as a few days) and deliver.  

     

    Why not just skip the digoxin, induce labor and deliver a living baby?  What is it about the beating heart of the child that is so threatening to the mother?  Am I missing something here?  If so, I am completely open to hearing it.

     

    "When you folks refuse to accept this or, as I believe you and most certainly your Church are doing, hope to reach the point where the lives of a certain number of women and little girls are a legal sacrifice to your twisted priorities then you support laws that kill women."

     

    I’ll be blunt; if you honestly believe that I want to ban abortion so that I can enjoy the sacrifice of women and little girls, you need to inform yourself.  Read opposing views with from an objective standpoint and employ some critical thinking.  It is your right to voice your opinions on the abortion issue and have those opinions heard; but if you want people to take you seriously and especially if you want to try and change the mind of your opponents, you might want to try something other than calling them names.  

     

    I support a ban on abortion because it unjustly takes the life of a distinct, living human being.  I support laws that would include exceptions for the life of the mother, as does the rest of the pro-life movement.  I am not looking to pile up bodies of women and little girls, no matter what you may think.

     

    "Dr Tiller’s work saved the lives of women and girls. That’s why he performed abortions."

     

    Yes, back to Dr. Tillers abortion procedure.  If the woman undergoing a late term abortion at his office had to go through labor anyway, what medical necessity of hers did stopping the heart of the fetus meet?  I honestly want to know if I am missing something, here.

     

    "See the ‘pro-life’ paradise of Nicaragua as an example of the less than compassionate results of the anti-abortion ideology.

    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2009/09/10/nicaragua-the-reality-abor"

     

    Interesting.  I read the single source cited in that article, which says: "It is impossible to ascertain how many women the blanket ban has prevented from accessing safe therapeutic abortion services and with what effect".  In other words, we have no idea what effect this ban has had on the lives women.  Got anything else?

     

     

  • emma

    Paul, 70 000 women globally die each year from unsafe abortions. The vast majority of these deaths occur in places where abortion is illegal. When abortion is illegal, abortion rates don’t go down, but rates of unsafe abortion increase. Rates of death from unsafe abortion increase. Unsafe abortion kills women. Laws that ban abortion kill women. I would say that laws that result in the deaths of women are bad for women. Your lot won’t acknowledge that an increased risk of dying is a bad thing, though, because you don’t think it is a bad thing if the women dying are doing so as a result of having unsafe abortions. You think they deserve it. Sacrificing a few Slutty McSlut-Sluts is worth it to you.

     

    Why won’t you admit that the third trimester abortions George Tiller performed were medically indicated? Do you not think pregnancy is ever life threatening to women? Do you not think foetuses ever have abnormalities that are incompatible with life? Do you think women should be forced to die when they have life threatening pregnancy complications? Do you think women should be forced to continue pregnancies when the foetus has no chance of surviving? Apparently you do, since you’ve said you consider terminating these pregnancies to be a ‘grave evil’. You want women to suffer. You want us to die from life threatening pregnancy complications, and you want us to be forced to suffer the trauma of being forced to gestate foetuses that have no chances of survival. You consider preventing or alleviating these situations to be a grave evil. Only someone who utterly despises women would hold such beliefs. You want us to suffer and die. For foetus’ sake, admit it.

     

    If you don’t want us to die from life-threatening pregnancy complications and be forced to carry foetuses that have no chance of survival, why do you think George Tiller’s work was a grave evil?

     

    I am so fed up with fascistic, misogynistic, murderous lunatics who sleep with stuffed foetuses and worship at the Church of the Exalted Foetus inflicting their ridiculousness on the rest of us. And why is it that the most virulent of you on this site are men? Do you really not understand the utter freakishness and creepiness of your obsession with sniffing around our uteri? Seriously…just go away. Get out of my damned underwear, get out of my medical treatment, and for your god’s sake, stop whimpering about your sacred foetus-godlets. At the very least, do it somewhere else.

     

    Colleen is worth more than a foetus. Crowepps is worth more than a foetus. Jodi is worth more than a foetus. TheRealistMom is worth more than a foetus. Ahunt is worth more than a foetus. I am worth more than a foetus. Our lives matter more. Our health matters more. We matter more.
    You are misogynists. Anti-choicers are misogynists. You hate women. You support laws that are bad for women. You hate doctors who save women’s lives. Stop pretending this isn’t the case. Misogyny is a core element of your foetus-worshipping belief system. You may as well embrace it.

  • paul

    "Uhm, you are not suggesting that pro-choicers inspire radical fringe groups that directly and indirectly support violence against abortion providers, are you?" 

     

    I am not suggesting anything other than what I said: there are crazies on both sides.  Arguing whether the right wing fringe is crazier than the left wing is like arguing about who provides a more painful listening experience, Kenny G or Andrew W. K., they both suck and everybody knows it.  

     

    I will say that certainly this Army of God group that Roeder was involved with looks pretty crazy, and it would be a good thing for them to be subject to a full investigation and subject to punishment for whatever crimes that might be revealed.

     

    Your implication that the greater pro-life movement directly supports violent individuals is, I believe, unfounded.  Sure, there have been individuals and small fringe groups that have bombed clinics and shot abortion providers, and these folks and those that cooperated with them deserve to have the full force of the law brought to bear upon them.  To lay blame at the feet of the entire movement, as many pro-choicers I’ve interacted with do, is baseless and inflammatory.  If you have evidence to the contrary, I’d like to see it.

     

    "Not yet, anyway."

     

    I would agree, and hopefully it never happens. 

  • paul

    "Laws that ban abortion kill women." 

     

    I haven’t seen any evidence of this yet, but I would be more than willing to look at any evidence you have.   

     

    "Why won’t you admit that the third trimester abortions George Tiller performed were medically indicated?"

     

    Medically indicated for what reason?  I don’t understand how delivering a dead baby vs. a live one makes the delivery safer for the mother.  I will would honestly like to get an explanation for this.  

     

    "You want us to suffer and die. For foetus’ sake, admit it."

     

    I have repeatedly said I support exceptions for the life of the mother. 

     

    "Seriously…just go away. … and for your god’s sake, stop whimpering about your sacred foetus-godlets. At the very least, do it somewhere else."

     

    Aren’t you comfortable enough with your own views to be challenged on them and confronted with them?  Shouldn’t we try to have an objective debate on this so that we can discern the truth of the matter?  I am willing to listen to your arguments and consider your evidence.  I have been wrong about many things in my life, it is possible that I am wrong about abortion, too.  Maybe you can say something to me that will get me to start seeing things in a new light.  

     

    "Colleen is worth more than a foetus. Crowepps is worth more than a foetus. Jodi is worth more than a foetus. TheRealistMom is worth more than a foetus. Ahunt is worth more than a foetus. I am worth more than a foetus. Our lives matter more. Our health matters more. We matter more."

     

    Why?  Why are you worth more than the unborn?  Why am I worth more than the unborn?  To me, this seems to be the heart of the matter, and the crux of our disagreement. 

     

    "You are misogynists. Anti-choicers are misogynists. You hate women. You support laws that are bad for women. You hate doctors who save women’s lives. Stop pretending this isn’t the case. Misogyny is a core element of your foetus-worshipping belief system. You may as well embrace it."

     

    If you start refuting my arguments instead of resorting to ad hominem attacks, I might.  

     

  • larry-j

    I don’t get how it is like flaming or shouting. The point was to give a candid look at what my thinking had been when I was communicating with someone in a different context (ie, with someone who agrees with me on the abortion issue). If your point is that it is like flaming or shouting because it is not conducive to debate and responses from those who differ, then you have a point.

    After what happened on the 11th, I’ve come to doubt that any good can come from pro-lifers debating with people at this site. I never wanted to convince people here that they should become pro-life instead of pro-choice (that would have been a ridiculous goal) but that just as I acknowledge that the pro-choice ideology can be based on a rational analysis of the moral issues (even though I disagree with that analysis), that you should acknowledge that the pro-life ideology can be based on a rational analysis of the moral issues involved. Also, that while you deride the pro-life movement for misleading and manipulative use of language, that the same tactic is employed here.

    I’m not on edge. I’m tired of what seems futile. Paul keeps at it despite all the insults that he gets peppered with, and he seems to keep his cool. I can’t do that. I don’t believe that anyone in the opposition here is going to acknowledge that his views are worthy of respect- even if they disagree with him.

    I put up a comment that didn’t invent debate because after the rancor of the 11th I’m tired of arguing.

  • larry-j

    This headline?  What is the point of that?  Isn’t paul an actual psychologist?  That is worthy of some respect. 

  • jodi-jacobson

    You write:

    I never wanted to convince people here that they should become pro-life
    instead of pro-choice (that would have been a ridiculous goal) but that
    just as I acknowledge that the pro-choice ideology can be based on a
    rational analysis of the moral issues (even though I disagree with that
    analysis), that you should acknowledge that the pro-life ideology can
    be based on a rational analysis of the moral issues involved.

    I do not know anyone here who does not agree that individuals who have a "pro-life" ideology can reach this place through their own rational analysis of moral issues.

    The difference is clear and it has been repeated here many times: It is not the co-existence of the two (and even this is simplistic because there are many versions of these views and they change from theoretical to practical often when someone who is "pro-life" is facing an unintended pregnancy.)

    It is the imposition through law and policy of the so-called pro-life agenda affecting so many areas of women’s lives (and by extension men’s and children’s lives).  It is not yours or Paul’s views as acted out in your personal lives.  It is the desire to get everyone else to see that you are right and make them live according to your worldview.

    It is the fundamentalist nature of anti-choice politics leading to the declaration that zygotes are people, many forms of contraception are bad, sex is bad, only heterosexual marriage is good, and so on…..

    It is the political nature of the anti-choice agenda that separates individual beliefs from public policy and crosses the line.  I think that has been said here many times, but perhaps still is not fully appreciated.

    If I had a friend who got unintentionally pregnant, I would fully support her whether she wanted to have an abortion, carry to term and give the child up for adoption, or decide to keep her child once it is born.  I have no agenda for her, except to support her own moral and ethical assessment of her situation.

    I honor, respect and would defend vociferously yours and anyone else’s rights to hold your views and live your life according to them.

    I reject as strenuously the attempts to impose them on me and others.

    It really is as simple as that.  You can say you are pro-life all you want, but the agenda you seek, when put into policy and law is anti-choice at its most extreme.

    The thing is that the majority of people in this country do understand that there is a difference from their own theoretical position and what they migth want in other circumstances for themselves, their daughters, and so on.  They want individuals to make those choices as best fits their own circumstances, no matter whether they self-identify as "pro-life" or "pro-choice."

    There is a profound difference between holding a view, and holding that your view is the only "right" view and must be universally applied.

     

    Jodi

  • jgbeam

    A zygote is human life. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t once a zygote. As I skip through this incredibly long thread it becomes more and more apparent that all arguments from both sides come down to this seemingly insurmountable difference. Egg + sperm = beginning of life –> zygote –> embryo –> fetus –> baby –> toddler –> child –> teen -> adult –> end of life. How can you deny this? I have been lurking and posting on this site for over two months, trying to understand how you can simply ignore facts of science. I believe in rights for all – including reproductive rights. If you don’t want a baby you have every right in the world not to have one. You have all the rights you will ever need – now. What has been totally absent from this site is “responsibility”. You want rights without responsibilities. Once you have created a life you have a responsibility to protect and nurture it until it can live on its own. You want your rights but deny the unborn theirs.

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • colleen

    Am I missing something here?

    I am not a doctor or a nurse. I tend to always disbelieve medical claims and descriptions from the anti-abortion/contraception faction due to their decades of blatant lies, distortions and exaggerations.
    Why not ask your question in an appropriate thread?
    If you’re reluctant to do that I would suggest that there have many, many discussions on this excellent blog about what ‘medically necessary’ meant in practical terms, particularly after Dr Tiller’s murder. Perhaps reading them would be a good place to start and the answer to your question would become clear.

    I support a ban on abortion because it unjustly takes the life of a distinct, living human being.

    Thank you for finally admitting that you support a ban. Fortunately only 18% or so of the American people agree with you and want to see abortion recriminalized.

    I support laws that would include exceptions for the life of the mother, as does the rest of the pro-life movement.

    Much of the anti-choice movement does not support exceptions for the life much less the health of the woman and I believe you’re fully aware of this.

    Got anything else?

    I’m a bit puzzled about which article you read. The one I provided a link to provided all sorts of evidence of the results of what happens when ‘pro-life’ notions about the disposability of women are codified and enforced. It provided links to a 52 page report from Amnesty International and another 20 page report from Human Rights Watch. Both reports are extensively and meticulously sourced.
    I can see why you would not wish to admit or think about what really happens when the Vatican controls the reproductive lives of women because, of course, it’s as indefensible as when they tried to kill an 11 year old child by forcing her to carry twins to term. But cherry picking one paragraph and pretending it was a conclusion is rather silly and using that as an excuse to ignore and dismiss mountains of real evidence is as silly as pretending that abortion has nothing to do with women’s rights, dignity and survival.
    here is the link again: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2009/09/10/nicaragua-the-reality-abortion-restrictions-revealed.

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • julie-watkins

    she’s at great risk of dying anyway. This is why, when pressed, I will support abortion to the last moment. Any* medical facility that has ability to handle late abortions has medical standards that guard against frivilous late abortions. It much more important for the public good (& lives of pregnant women) that doctors have flexibility to take medically necessary actions.

    *there might, theoretically, be some that don’t, but they wouldn’t add up to enough instances worth writing laws about instead of prosecuting individually … unless the law is a sham, and the real reason is TRAP.

  • jodi-jacobson

    Paul,

    there is so much evidence of the spewing of violent rhetoric in the pro-life movement that not seeing it is like saying you don’t see the sun in the sky.  I hate to be so blunt but….

    Just one example from just one article we are publishing tomorrow:

    Tucci is most notorious as Terry’s hand-picked successor to lead Operation Rescue after his own inner-circle attempted to oust him. Under Tucci’s command, the group staged a six week long intimidation campaign targeting Dr. George Tiller’s clinic in Wichita, Kan., in the summer of 1991 that resulted in more than 1,700 arrests. In a 1993 letter to the group’s supporters, Tucci reportedly wrote, "It is your God-given right to destroy any man or woman calling themselves doctors who willingly slaughter innocent children."

    and another:

    When Tiller was assassinated on May 31 by Scott Roeder, an
    associate of Troy Newman’s rival Wichita-based group Operation Rescue West, McEwen wrote a vicious press release for Operation Save
    America
    blaming Tiller for his own death.

    [http://rightwingwatch.org/category/individuals/pat-mcewen]

     

    Like I said….just a couple small examples of institutional, organized calls for violence from the leaders of the anti-choice movement.

    There are and have been many others.

    I would love to hear whom you describe as "crazies" on the pro-choice side because quite frankly no pro-choice person that i know of and certainly no organization i know of has ever acted to instigate any restrictions on your basic human or constitutional rights as a born human being.  

    Please advise as to where examples of pro-choice organizations are "crazy."

    Thanks, Jodi

     

  • phylosopher

    Equating personhood with human is merely prejudice.  Just as the colonizing Europeans were Eurocentric.  It is not just DNA that makes one a person.  It is a set of characteristics, such that if we found those characterics in another species we would also grant that species rights. And conversely, by your argument, Jim, if we could transplant human DNA, and at the rate genetically modified sciences are progressing, it won’t be long, then we would also have to extend that right to those organism, perhaps in proportion to their human DNA.  

     

    Further, in your "argument" you make no mention of rape victims (which always shows how ill or un-thought replies like yours are.  What responsibility do you think a woman or girl should have taken? In cases of incest, what, the eleven y o didn’t take enough responsibility in choosing her father?

     

     

     

     

  • kate-ranieri

    Jim,

    Nice way to reframe the term "responsibility" to exclude other facets of  responsibility like recognizing the complexities (social, economic, marital, education, etc) of your life and recognizing your limitations. You see when you know your limitations, you know what you can and cannot handle. Women know this all too well. It’s such a sophomoric response to say that egg and sperm donor have the responsibility to protect and nurture. 

     

    It’s also a bit delusional if not misogynist for you to think that women have all the rights they need now. Women have to fight for their rights to birth control, to an abortion, to have privacy for reproductive health care needs, to access to gyn health care. It’s men and women with male brains that have continued to deny women full rights as citizens. 

     

    You don’t see women protesting doctors who prescribe Viagra or Cialis. You don’t Congress debate whether health care reform should cover those drugs or pay for penile implants.

     

    The point is that women and their reproductive organs and the power of their bodies has a long history of men wanting to control everything. There are more laws on the books that control women’s bodies than there are laws that control men’s bodies. Why is that? It’s a really creepy situation and your uninformed comments are just more fodder  for the creepy crowd.

  • paul-bradford

    I must not have made myself clear.  My argument is that members of any human community have a sense of morality that they apply to affairs within their own community.  Almost everyone everywhere draws a distinction between those who are in the ‘in crowd’ (and must be treated morally) and those in the ‘out crowd’ (who can be treated with disrespect).  People like to call those in the ‘out crowd’ by names like ‘infidel’ or ‘barbarian’.

     

    Human advancement comes when people expand the circle that describes who’s in the ‘in crowd’ and start applying the standards of morality to those they had previously disrespected.  That’s my definition of human advancement, anyway.  As you point out, there is tremendous resistance to that sort of advancement.

     

    Let me know if any of that made sense. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    A concern for the well being of the unborn by anyone can make things better for the very young. 

     

    The evidence leads me to believe that, ever since the early ‘eighties, young women have become more and more convinced that their unborn children have lives they’re morally constrained to nurture and protect.  Under Reagan, the abortion rate (abortions per 1000 women of childbearing age) dropped from 29.4 to 27.3.  Under Bush41, it dropped to 25.9.  Under Clinton, it dropped to 21.5.  It dropped to 19.4 in Bush43’s first term.  I expect it to drop under Obama.

     

    These different presidents had widely different approaches to the abortion problem — but the rate went down under all of them.  It’s going down, not because of anything the government is doing, but because attitudes are changing. 

     

    You can help protect the unborn simply by valuing their lives.  Everyone’s attitude comes into play because no one makes her decisions in a vacuum.  Men have a particularly important role to play because they can let their partners know that it’s important to them that they not lose a child to a procured abortion.  Men can take more responsibility than they do for contraception (which will reduce the chance of losing a child).  Men can offer to support a partner’s decision to bring a pregnancy to term.  Men can act and speak as if the unborn were already sisters and brothers in the human family.

     

    We older people have an impact as well.  We set the tone for the discussion of these issues.  An attitude of respect for the unborn can be demonstrated by the way we express ourselves.

     

    People are changing the way they think about these things — women, men, older folk — and they’re thinking differently, not because they’re letting other people do the thinking for them, but because we’re all able to appreciate, more clearly than we did in the past, the importance of valuing unborn life.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    I don’t have much interest in sussing out your glaring contradictions or playing this game with you.

     

    You know, colleen, I was thinking about you at lunch this afternoon and anticipating how angry you were likely to become at my "It actually isn’t about women" comment.  My mouth got dry, my palms got sweaty, my heart rate sped up.  When I logged on later in the day I pretty much knew I was going to hear from you and I had the feeling that I was going to be ‘sent to the office’.

     

    Take into consideration the fact that I was schooled by nuns.  I’ve got the Pavlovian response of cowering before outraged and indignant women.  It’s not easy for me to hold my own in the sort of situation you and I find ourselves in.  I want very much for us to have an adult-to-adult conversation about things that matter so much to both of us, but to do that I have to overcome some deeply ingrained patterns.

     

    You know, if you’ve looked at my posts on the other threads, that I am reading "Half the Sky" right now.  I’m about halfway through.  It’s very uncomfortable reading, but I recommend it.  The terrifying and dehumanizing experiences that so many women endure around this troubled world of ours is nearly beyond belief.

     

    You mistrust me so much that you probably find ridiculous my claim to care about the well being of women.  Like you, I consider Central America to be a hotbed of misogynistic abuse.  Like you, I think restrictions against abortion access are wrongheaded and counter-productive.  Like you, I’m appalled by so many of the things that the institutional Church has done in the name of Jesus. 

     

    Where we differ, perhaps, is that I don’t think any of those awful things are the cause of the trouble.  To my mind the cause is much, much deeper.  The cause is deeper and the cure is radical.  More people have to give more respect to more people.  That’s the Pro-Life ‘message’ I purvey.  

     

    To me it’s beyond sad that we’ve set things up so that the interests of women conflict with the interests of their children.  This is not a good thing for women.  I firmly believe that abortion is not an instrument of liberation for women.  I believe that it’s a ‘shortcut’ solution to the problem of family planning.

     

    We can control the size of our families, and the population of the world without dehumanizing the unborn.  That’s an immoral way to solve a legitimate problem. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • progo35

    Jodi,

    there is no documented evidence of a pro life LEADER (I repeat: leader, not person) going to visit Roeder in prison.  Some pro lifers, like some pro choicers, are wacky and some have gone to visit Roeder. But none of those people have been leaders of a recognized, legitimate pro life group. Please stop misrepresenting facts to suit your own agenda. 

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • progo35

    Crazies, hmmm:

     

    Well, how about your "friend" Operation Counterstrike, who, while banned, obviously likes the site as much as Roeder liked Operation Rescue, since he’s posted here twice, exactly as many times as Roeder posted on OR. He advocates the murder of pro life leaders: he would like to see at least some of them die in retribution for Dr. Tiller’s murder.

     

    How about Colleen and Amanda Marcotte, who, while not calling for violence, repeatedly call pro lifers mysogynstic freaks who want to enslave women and promote violence against women? How about your other "friend" who wrote on this blog that they would like to see the legaization of infanticide against disabled infants, whose comment you refused to remove, even though it clearly violated your own guidelines regarding hate speech? Moreover, I want to see this letter that supposedly was sent out by a pro life organization urging followers to hurt abortion doctors or blaming Tiller for his death while exonerating Roeder. I don’t just want some random quote taken out of context. For all we know, "destroy" might have meant "destroy Tiller’s reputation" or "destroy Tiller’s career," and not, "destroy/kill Tiller himself." I think that that kind of rhetoric is incendiary and wrong as it appears out of context, but how are we to know what the rest of the letter said? 

     

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • paul-bradford

    answer these loaded questions and you’ll agree I’m right

     

    You’re not being fair to me, crowepps.  I have no intention of trying to dupe you or anyone into proving my ‘rightness’.  I have a point to make and I didn’t want to be accused of putting words in your mouth.  I wanted you to simply say what I assumed was true anyway which is that our disagreement isn’t about women.  It’s about the unborn.  In your own words: "No, ‘non-breathers’ do not have lives that are as valuable as ‘breathers’ — that is because they haven’t ‘graduated’ to viability by successfully being born and proven their ability to breathe.

     

    When crowepps evaluates a person’s worth it’s vitally important to her that the person is ‘viable’, that s/he’s ‘graduated’, that s/he’s ‘succeeded in being born’, that s/he’s able to breathe on her/his own.  By the time someone is born, by your evaluation, he or she counts as much as anyone else — but that wasn’t the case when s/he started her/his life.  Somehow, according to you, we acquire moral value during the nine months of gestation.

     

    I get the idea from your post that you’re exasperated with me, that you consider me dim-witted and stubborn.  Maybe I am, but I implore you to open your mind to the possibility that I actually care — that I care as much as you do.

     

    When I contemplate the attitude that we have to ‘prove our worth’ before we matter enough to be accorded the respect and the rights that older, more experienced people enjoy I absolutely cringe.  Deep in the core of my being something cries out, "That’s not fair!  That’s dehumanizing!"  Yeah, I get worked up and bent out of shape.  I really do try, but it’s a challenge to keep my emotions in check.

     

    I don’t want to be one of the ‘graduates’ who looks down on the ‘undergraduates’.  I can’t make myself forget that I was once an undergraduate myself.

     

    Believe me, I think it would be lovely if you could demonstrate to me that the unborn don’t count like we do.  It would make life sooooooooo much easier.  Who the hell wants to deal with a child your not prepared to raise?  The mother doesn’t want him.  The father doesn’t want him.  The society doesn’t want to have to deal with him.  The world is crowded enough.  Wouldn’t it be great to make the problem go away?  Everyone would be better off!

     

    On the other hand, if you think it’s not fair for graduates to make decisions that prevent undergraduates from having a chance to graduate, you’re stuck with a tougher row to hoe. 

     

    It matters a lot to you whether women are made to feel responsible, guilty, concerned, anxious.  Do you think we’re different in that regard?  I’m a mental health clinician.  I have lots of female clients (not that those feelings are any kind of picnic for men).  Nobody has to explain to me about the problems women face with depression. 

     

    The more you care, the more you risk suffering.  And yet, over and over, I recommend to my anxious and depressed clients that they care more.  I’m not just talking about the unborn here.  I’m talking about taking steps to behave as if others really mattered.  I’m talking about putting yourself out.

     

    It’s all of a piece to me.  I don’t care about the unborn instead of caring about ‘walking around’ people.  I care about the unborn because I care about ‘walking around’ people.

     

    You might consider it ‘gloomy’ for couples to be mindful of the fact that their expression of love might result in the creation of a person they’re not prepared for.  What’s the alternative?  Should we forget that we have reproductive power?  Then we wouldn’t have to care as much, I guess.  Then we’d have less reason to be depressed and anxious.

     

    I’m not interested in having the suicide rate skyrocket.  Suicide is the Pro-Life issue that I deal with on a daily basis.  My observation is that suicide risk decreases when someone feels as if they’re in a mutually caring relationship with another human being.  I know you might find this foolish, but I like thinking that I was worth caring about when I was a zygote. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • crowepps

    My disagreement was with your assertion that humans were ‘wired’ biologically to include. They are not, but instead to exclude. Historically, the natural behavior of humans is to WIDEN the pool of those who are ‘out’, NOT to WIDEN the pool of those who are in. Traditionally, religions of all types are ‘conservative’ in this regard, and exclude from those with ‘rights’ everyone who is not a member of the religion (and many who ARE members on the basis that they are not sincere enough or ‘correct’ in those beliefs.

  • crowepps

    I wanted you to simply say what I assumed was true anyway which is that our disagreement isn’t about women. It’s about the unborn.

    I am unable to separate the issues of the unborn from the rights of the women. To me, we are talking about TWO, not one and ‘container’.

    In your own words: “No, ‘non-breathers’ do not have lives that are as valuable as ‘breathers’ — that is because they haven’t ‘graduated’ to viability by successfully being born and proven their ability to breathe.” When crowepps evaluates a person’s worth it’s vitally important to her that the person is ‘viable’, that s/he’s ‘graduated’, that s/he’s ‘succeeded in being born’, that s/he’s able to breathe on her/his own. By the time someone is born, by your evaluation, he or she counts as much as anyone else — but that wasn’t the case when s/he started her/his life. Somehow, according to you, we acquire moral value during the nine months of gestation.

    Once again you have missed the point entirely. A zygote is MORE LIKELY THAN NOT going to die. A pregnant woman is MORE LIKELY THAN NOT going to live. To give preference to the pre-dead over the living seems nuts to me. The process of fertilization, pregnancy and biological development MAY result in a person but it PROBABLY will not.

    I get the idea from your post that you’re exasperated with me, that you consider me dim-witted and stubborn. Maybe I am, but I implore you to open your mind to the possibility that I actually care — that I care as much as you do.

    Your emotional state of ‘care’ is totally irrelevant.

    When I contemplate the attitude that we have to ‘prove our worth’ before we matter enough to be accorded the respect and the rights that older, more experienced people enjoy I absolutely cringe. Deep in the core of my being something cries out, “That’s not fair! That’s dehumanizing!” Yeah, I get worked up and bent out of shape. I really do try, but it’s a challenge to keep my emotions in check.

    BIOLOGY requires us to ‘prove our worth’ by succeeding in growing our BODY. Nature ISN’T fair. Your emotional state of ‘that’s not fair’ is totally irrelevant.

    I don’t want to be one of the ‘graduates’ who looks down on the ‘undergraduates’. I can’t make myself forget that I was once an undergraduate myself.

    I do not “look down on” zygotes. I understand that biological processes are complicated and MORE LIKELY THAN NOT individual zygotes won’t develop to birth.

    Believe me, I think it would be lovely if you could demonstrate to me that the unborn don’t count like we do. It would make life sooooooooo much easier. Who the hell wants to deal with a child your not prepared to raise? The mother doesn’t want him. The father doesn’t want him. The society doesn’t want to have to deal with him. The world is crowded enough. Wouldn’t it be great to make the problem go away? Everyone would be better off!

    I disagree with you that we count. My observation is that in our society and most of the others, we as individuals DON’T count.

    On the other hand, if you think it’s not fair for graduates to make decisions that prevent undergraduates from having a chance to graduate, you’re stuck with a tougher row to hoe.

    If we’re going to use metaphors, how about this: I’m a gardener, I understand that weeds are just as miraculous and unique and special as any other plant but that they are carelessly destroyed because they are UNWANTED. When I thin carrots, I do not take those that are removed and carefully transplant them. I toss them on the compost heap.

    It matters a lot to you whether women are made to feel responsible, guilty, concerned, anxious. Do you think we’re different in that regard? I’m a mental health clinician. I have lots of female clients (not that those feelings are any kind of picnic for men). Nobody has to explain to me about the problems women face with depression. The more you care, the more you risk suffering. And yet, over and over, I recommend to my anxious and depressed clients that they care more. I’m not just talking about the unborn here. I’m talking about taking steps to behave as if others really mattered. I’m talking about putting yourself out.

    Uh-huh – the problem women have with anxiety depression can be solved by investing even MORE than they already do in OTHER people. How are your patient outcomes?

    It’s all of a piece to me. I don’t care about the unborn instead of caring about ‘walking around’ people. I care about the unborn because I care about ‘walking around’ people.

    Again, ‘caring’ is irrelevant.

    You might consider it ‘gloomy’ for couples to be mindful of the fact that their expression of love might result in the creation of a person they’re not prepared for. What’s the alternative? Should we forget that we have reproductive power? Then we wouldn’t have to care as much, I guess. Then we’d have less reason to be depressed and anxious.

    So you do advocate promoting depression and anxiety? Or instead are you promoting a lot less sex?

    I’m not interested in having the suicide rate skyrocket. Suicide is the Pro-Life issue that I deal with on a daily basis. My observation is that suicide risk decreases when someone feels as if they’re in a mutually caring relationship with another human being. I know you might find this foolish, but I like thinking that I was worth caring about when I was a zygote.

    It’s my understanding that when abortion was made legal the suicide rate for women dropped by 33%. I don’t think you’re foolish – I think people who are worried about whether anyone ‘cared about them’ when they were zygotes have issues about their own aging and death.

  • ahunt

    The evidence leads me to believe that women are taking control of their fertility in ever greater numbers, with greater success.

  • ahunt

    To me it’s beyond sad that we’ve set things up so that the interests of women conflict with the interests of their children.

     

    This is a huge reason why we mistrust you. You define women as "mothers" first, and  "people" second.

    And you know, Paul…if I heard one tenth of the outcry over women claiming their bodily selves…directed towards men who, throughout history, have ruthlessly sacrificed others for personal benefit and are admired for it, I would be less cynical.

     All this handwringing over women’s decision-making authority…while the boys skip happily off to decide who lives and who dies… and why. 

    Puh-leeze.

  • colleen

    You mistrust me so much that you probably find ridiculous my claim to care about the well being of women.

    In this short discussion alone you’ve gone from a rhetorical game designed to gain attention (abortion is not about women) to announcing your support for a ban on all abortions except those necessary to save the life of the ‘mother’ to protesting that you care about the well being of women to announcing that you believe “restrictions against abortion access are wrongheaded and counter-productive” to pretending that you know what is good for women.
    The kindest thing I can say is that I don’t believe you have thought this through.
    I didn’t mention Nicaragua to elicit a blanket condemnation of a region but, rather, because it’s an excellent example of what happens when the pro-life movement’s policies and priorities are implemented. I could have as easily used the Philippines as an example or many other Latin American nations controlled by the Catholic church. I mentioned Nicaragua because it is a example of precisely what happens when abortion isn’t about women at all. I mentioned Nicaragua because I am sick to death of listening to y’all condescend to women here and swear that no, their lives wouldn’t be negatively affected AT ALL when zygotes are declared legal persons.

    To me it’s beyond sad that we’ve set things up so that the interests of women conflict with the interests of their children.

    I’m amazed that you recognise this. What you fail to understand is that pro-choice men and women did not do this. You did. Your church did. Every time you folks pretend to be ‘protecting’ a zygote from the container in which said zygote resides you do this. You’ll have to forgive me if I say that it’s my belief that you know nothing about what is or is not “good for women”.

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • paul

    "I am not a doctor or a nurse."

     

    Fair enough Colleen, I’ll ask elsewhere.  Anyone else care to chime in on that subject?

     

    "I tend to always disbelieve medical claims and descriptions from the anti-abortion/contraception faction due to their decades of blatant lies, distortions and exaggerations."

     

    I can understand where you are coming from, as I am inclined to be suspicious of abortion advocates for the same reason.  However, I think it is more productive to look at evidence objectively, and not just dismiss it because someone you disagree with presented it to you.  If its bogus, you have just strengthened your position when you point out the flaw, and if it isn’t bogus, well then honesty and integrity demands that we explore the conclusions that can be drawn from that evidence.


    Why not ask your question in an appropriate thread?
    If you’re reluctant to do that I would suggest that there have many, many discussions on this excellent blog about what ‘medically necessary’ meant in practical terms, particularly after Dr Tiller’s murder. Perhaps reading them would be a good place to start and the answer to your question would become clear."

     

    Good suggestions, I will certainly explore them. 

     

    "Thank you for finally admitting that you support a ban. Fortunately only 18% or so of the American people agree with you and want to see abortion recriminalized."

     

    You’re welcome, I never intended to hide it.  Whether or not the rest of the public agrees with me has no bearing on the validity of my viewpoint, although it certainly does mean we have a lot educating to do.   

     

    "I’m a bit puzzled about which article you read. The one I provided a link to provided all sorts of evidence of the results of what happens when ‘pro-life’ notions about the disposability of women are codified and enforced. It provided links to a 52 page report from Amnesty International and another 20 page report from Human Rights Watch. Both reports are extensively and meticulously sourced."

     

    Yes, I read the Human Rights Watch report, but I missed the Amnesty International report.  I have finished an initial perusal but due to the length of the report and I am going to go through it again.  I’ll share my thoughts on this on a later post, feel free to hold my feet to the fire if I haven’t addressed the evidence you presented.  

     

    I did read the "Impact of the Ban on Therapeutic Abortion" section of the Human Rights Watch report.  You offered the report as evidence that the laws that I support kill women.  The report lists several pieces of anecdotal stories, and a list of arguments on why the ban may potentially affect pregnant women.  When it comes to actual evidence that the ban itself caused harm to women, the article can only state "It is impossible to ascertain how many women the blanket ban has prevented from accessing safe therapeutic abortion services and with what effect".  

     

    Proposals on why the ban might have affected the treatment received by these women is not evidence, nor does it prove causality.

     

    "But cherry picking one paragraph and pretending it was a conclusion is rather silly and using that as an excuse to ignore and dismiss mountains of real evidence is as silly as pretending that abortion has nothing to do with women’s rights, dignity and survival." 

     

    Did they lie when they wrote that sentence?  They explicitly stated that they don’t know what effect a lack of legal abortion had on women seeking abortions in Nicaragua.   They have no evidence that "laws I support kill women". 

     

    As I said earlier, I will go over the Amnesty International Report and post my thoughts in the future, hopefully by tomorrow.   

  • paul

    Hi Jodi,

     

    If Tucci wrote that than he or she should be condemned and punished by whatever legal measures are appropriate.  I suppose it is possible that by destroy Tucci meant ruin financially or socially, context would be needed in a legal setting.  My first impression from just that individual quote seems more like a call to violence, and if so this should be condemned and punished.

     

    Regarding the second link you provided, not one of the statements on that page from pro-life groups called for violence.  Not one.  Certainly, McEwen’s statement spent more time condemning Tillers actions in life (regrettable and insensitive to Tillers family, to be sure), but it did condemn the murder and in fact reinforced the notion that violence against abortion providers/advocates is antithetical to the pro-life position.

     

    "I would love to hear whom you describe as "crazies" on the pro-choice side because quite frankly no pro-choice person that i know of and certainly no organization i know of has ever acted to instigate any restrictions on your basic human or constitutional rights as a born human being."

     

    As I conceded to ahunt earlier, I am not aware of an organization that advocates for abortion rights and also advocates violence against pro-lifers, and for that I am thankful.  Certainly the same cannot be said for a group like the Army of God.  However, I still have not seen evidence that this is representative of the greater pro-life movement.  In fact, the very article you linked to lends support to my critique as it states "The most common response has been to decry the murder and say that violence is never the answer".

     

    You asked for "crazies" that "instigate any restrictions on your basic human or constitutional rights as a born human being."

    Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University

    "Nevertheless the main point is clear: killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Very often it is not wrong at all." http://tinyurl.com/6ro9bl (last sentence before ‘Other Non-voluntary Life and Death Decisions’ section)

     

    People that shoot abortion providers act on an ill-formed idea that the ends they seek justify the means of their actions.  They perform an evil, unjust act (killing the abortion doctor) in order to seek some good end (stopping abortions).  

     

    Ironically, the parallel on the pro-choice side is not some pro-choicer that shoots a pro-lifer, rather it is a doctor that performs an evil, unjust act (killing a distinct, living human being) to seek some good end (helping the mother).  

     

    *edited to include Singer reference 

     

  • colleen

    I’ll share my thoughts on this on a later post,

    Please don’t bother Paul. If you’re able to dismiss what you’ve read thus far with an inane comment on causality there really is no point in continuing this conversation. It’s a waste of my time.

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • jgbeam

    That first paragraph is phylosophical spin.  Makes no sense.

    Re: rape and incest, although I still maintain that there is a new life that must be protected, at least I understand, since there was no choice involved, how one could reach a position to justify abortion.  Adoption is probably the best option in this case.  But this only accounts for a small (<1%?) of abortions.

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • jgbeam

    The egg and sperm donors, more accurately called mother and father certainly do have a responsibility to protect and nurture.

     

    Jim Grant, Pro-lifer

  • jodi-jacobson

    The list of those visiting and communicating with the man accused of
    killing Wichita abortion provider George Tiller reads like a who’s who
    of anti-abortion militants.
    Two convicted clinic bombers. The man behind the Army of God Web site.
    Several activists who once signed a declaration that defended the
    killing of abortion providers. And federal agents have now talked to
    many of them.

     

     

  • crowepps

    To whom do they owe that responsibility? Society? I certainly don’t feel they owe ME anything. The fetus? WHy do they owe any responsibility to the fetus? Because they ‘chose’ to have sex? This is an endless circular argument that actually is just your personal opinion and the personal opinion of a small minority of people that ‘chosing to have sex’ equals ‘consent to pregnancy’.

  • crowepps

    Paul has declared himself to be a ‘counselor’. That is not the same thing as a ‘psychologist’. As to whether he’s a good counselor, consider his explanation of his practices:

    It matters a lot to you whether women are made to feel responsible, guilty, concerned, anxious. Do you think we’re different in that regard? I’m a mental health clinician. I have lots of female clients (not that those feelings are any kind of picnic for men). Nobody has to explain to me about the problems women face with depression. The more you care, the more you risk suffering. And yet, over and over, I recommend to my anxious and depressed clients that they care more. I’m not just talking about the unborn here. I’m talking about taking steps to behave as if others really mattered. I’m talking about putting yourself out.

    After his explanation that he knowingly encourages his depressed and anxious women patients to do MORE of exactly what is making them sick, putting everyone else first, even though he is aware that doing so will INCREASE their suffering, I’m not sure whether he’s attempting ‘counseling’ or religious conversions.

  • paul-bradford

    I am unable to separate the issues of the unborn from the rights of the women. 

     

    I’ve brought this out on other threads, and I do it specifically so that we can separate the issues.  Suppose, in the future, it becomes possible to remove a developing fetus from her/his mother’s uterus and place it in a super-duper incubator until the time of birth arrives.  Suppose this removal process was no more painful or dangerous than an abortion.  Do you think that the mother ought to have the right to have the fetus destroyed rather than placed it in the incubator if she doesn’t want to raise the child? 

     

    Once again you have missed the point entirely. A zygote is MORE LIKELY THAN NOT going to die. A pregnant woman is MORE LIKELY THAN NOT going to live. To give preference to the pre-dead over the living seems nuts to me.

     

    Zygotes and blastocysts successfully implant and become embryos somewhere between 20% and 50% of the time.  Once you implant, your odds for survival go way up (your biggest danger, in that phase, is procured abortion).  Once you’re born, your survival chances are again increased.  If you can make it to your first birthday your chances go up again.

     

    I have never suggested giving preference to the child over the mother in the sense of allowing the mother to die rather than the child — and you know it.  What I have been focusing attention on is the issue of valuing a child to the point that you take pains to do what the child needs to continue living (not at the cost of your own survival).  

     

    It seems to me — please don’t let me put words in your mouth — that you think a mother (or any of the rest of us) should index the degree of our ‘valuing’ to the likelihood that the child will survive.  Lavish your care and attention on the kid most likely to give you grandchildren, and so forth.  That seems to be one of those attitudes, like xenophobia, that are ‘natural’ to us but we have to overcome in order to become more fully human. 

     

    What am I talking about when I say ‘more fully human’?  Suppose you have two families and they both have seriously sick children.  Obviously, they all realize that their children are MORE LIKELY THAN NOT going to die.  One couple uses this as a reason to neglect their child.  The other uses it as a reason to give extra care to their child.  Do you think one of those responses is more fully human than the other? 

     

    We already had this discussion about xenophobia.  We both acknowledged that there’s an adaptive genetic reason for people to treat those in their ‘in’ group well and those in the ‘out’ group poorly.  Still, you and I both agreed that it’s somehow better to be inclusive than exclusive.  Now I’m adding another example.  People who neglect their sickly children and lavish care on their hearty ones will do better, genetically speaking, than those who invest a lot of energy caring for the sick.  Still, it somehow seems ‘better’ to put some effort into helping those who are sick or who, for some reason or another, have their survival threatened.  

     

    colleen told me she didn’t want to become a Catholic.  As if my purpose here was to hustle people into church.  I do have a purpose, though, and that is to encourage these anti-adaptive, ‘fully human’ attitudes.

     

    The unborn are 1) not at all like us and 2) much less likely to survive than we are.  Two good reasons not to care about them.  You have good, scientific reasons for promoting xenophobia and for promoting favoritism to the strong.  I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I have the sense that it’s better to go the other way.

     

     

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    Well, if that’s the reason I hope it continues.  Ideally we’ll have a world where every zygote is a wanted zygote. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    As usual you misunderstand my meaning 

     

    colleen, my incapacity to understand you is a great discomfort to me.  The only thing that rivals that discomfort is the feeling of frustration I feel at your incapacity to understand me.  I consider you a person of good will, and I know myself to be one, so I’m willing to — as you put it — look silly and continue to try and communicate with you.

     

    Only that I’ve never seen you wag your finger at young males or abusive ones like your buddy Larry and that most of the men who post here are the sort who are would be quite content if more women died in childbirth.

     

    It surprises me that you haven’t noticed that I have NO buddies on this ‘site.  Larry has informed me that I wouldn’t be welcome in the Pro-Life circles he frequents because I’m not willing to criminalize abortion and because I insist that — no matter what — no one can overrule a mother’s decisions regarding the welfare of her unborn child.

     

    I actually have wagged my finger at Larry on occasion, but mostly we ignored each other. 

     

    We’ve even got one who occasionally insists that it’s good and healthy for teenaged girls to have babies.

     

    For two minutes, colleen, I’d like you to forget that I’m a brain-dead loser with nothing useful to say and consider this:

     

    I believe, more strongly than I believe anything else I’ve ever said on these threads, that the number one way to advance human happiness throughout the world is to promote the idea that women should delay the onset of childbearing until they’re truly ready, willing and able to do a good job of raising children.  Teenage pregnancies — with very few exceptions — are bad for women, bad for children and bad for society.  Furthermore, the best way to get women to delay childbearing is to open up educational and career opportunities.  Nothing, nothing, nothing is more likely to improve life on this planet.  If we don’t do something about this situation we’re going to overpopulate ourselves into a pandemic of poverty. 

     

    I was pointing out that your extensive finger wagging is directed entirely towards women.

     

    This is where I get so frustrated at our ‘communication problem’.  I have repeatedly said that abortion is a symptom of irresponsibility — but I don’t believe that the charge of irresponsibility should be laid entirely at the foot of the women who get abortions.  Women get abortions because they’ve been let down.  For one thing, they’ve been let down by their partners who weren’t responsible enough to do what they could to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.  For another thing, they’ve been let down by social services that are woefully inadequate for women facing unintended pregnancy.  Finally, they’ve been let down by a society that simply doesn’t value life sufficiently  We don’t sufficiently value the lives of the unborn, and we don’t sufficiently value the lives of women.

     

    Maybe this is my ‘laughably inaccurate’ view of your way of looking at things, but I get the idea that you look at it as a ‘zero sum’ situation.  More concern for the unborn equals less concern for women, more concern for women equals a resistance to concern for the unborn.  I think we can have both and I think the recipe for having both is to adopt a more hopeful attitude. 

     

    Indeed when you and your fellow right wingers speak of male involvement at all (which is seldom) the discussion is usually framed in terms of male rights and almost never male responsibility.

     

    You’ve got to be willfully misunderstanding me to refer to me as a ‘right winger’.  One of the things I hope to demonstrate is that a person who takes a progressive view of politics (as I do) can be Pro-Life.  I wonder what sort of opinions you think I have on the Iraq war, on taxation, on capital punishment, on gay marriage, on the environment, on religion in public life, on immigration, on alternative fuels, on education.  Why do you suppose I got behind Obama way back in 2004 and have supported him ever since (except that my views are often more liberal than the policies he needs to adopt in order to govern the country). 

     

    Indeed you have grown less perceptive during the time you’ve been posting here.

     

    You say I don’t understand you and I’ll have to take your word for it.  I really am trying my best to understand you.  My experience is that you have some serious misunderstandings about me.  Perhaps, if we understood each other better, we wouldn’t be bumping heads as we do.

     

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    he knowingly encourages his depressed and anxious women patients to do MORE of exactly what is making them sick

     

    OK, first of all I work, full time as a therapist and a social worker with three psychiatrists in practice in the Boston area.  There is nothing remotely ‘religious’ about our approach to mental health.

     

    I’ll be happy to say to you, or to anyone, that I have found that people get depressed and anxious when they feel they have no agency in their life and when they feel disconnected from supportive and mutually caring relationships.  The depressed and anxious clients I’ve worked with typically find it hard to believe that can do anything useful for themselves or for others.

     

    The ‘medicine’ I administer is to find meaningful work (which means doing good for others) and to foster meaningful relationships.  We have a very good record of success.

     

    By the way, I work with clients who are seriously disabled.  What you call ‘depression’ from your own experience may be far different from what I’m looking at every day. 

     

    You know, crowepps, when you tell me what you do for a living I’m not going to speculate that you’re no good at what you do — especially if I have no evidence to support that claim.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    Jodi,

     

    You say, "It is the fundamentalist nature of anti-choice politics leading to the declaration that zygotes are people, many forms of contraception are bad, sex is bad, only heterosexual marriage is good, and so on….

     

    It makes sense to me to take a live-and-let-live attitude when it comes to whether or not somebody uses contraception, whether they think sex is good, whether or not they have homosexual relationships, how they want to form their marriages or domestic partnerships.  Go on, do your own thing, it’s none of my business anyway.

     

    It’s different when other people are involved.  It matters a great deal to me that I treat another person as if s/he’s a sister or brother in the human family.  You can do what you like, but if what you do affects other people I have the right (and duty) to speak up for the interests of others — especially if they have a hard time speaking up for themselves. 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul

    Colleen, it wasn’t me who brought up causality.  You are the one who argued that laws that I support cause the death of women.  The Human Rights report offers no evidence that this law caused the death of women, and, after reading through it more closely, I found the same to be true of the Amnesty repot.

     

    If you’d like to point to the specific points in the reports that I have mis-interpreted, I’ll be happy to look at them again and consider your counter-points.  If I am being so obtuse, it should be relatively easy to point out where I am wrong.

  • julie-watkins

    I get the idea that you look at it as a ‘zero sum’ situation.  More concern for the unborn equals less concern for women, more concern for women equals a resistance to concern for the unborn.  I think we can have both and I think the recipe for having both is to adopt a more hopeful attitude.


    That’s wagging your fingers at women.


    You wrote earlier woman are moral (I believe I my decision to abort after my IUD failed was moral — I didn’t delay after I knew I was pregnant). Then I had my tubes tied. If I had known the IUD didn’t work for me, if RvW hadn’t happened & abortion was illegal in Illinois, I would have gotten my tubes tied earlier. But I didn’t, and the IUD failed. Whether or not I’m using the right contraception becomes a moot point after I’m pregnant and I don’t want to be. At that point (the point I was in, the point any woman seeking abortion care is in) making compromises on the basis of "rights of the very young" IS A ZERO SUM SITUATION. Some women, no want the level of support, don’t want to be pregnant. What I think you want of society — that we sufficiently "value the lives of the unborn" — is for women to be "moral" in the way you want them to be moral.


    That’s disvaluing women. I don’t care if you keep waving your hands and saying otherwise, you aren’t "for choice" you are "Paul Bradford, a Catholic against recriminalization".


    Julie Watkins
    Pro-choice athiest against forced or coerced pregnancy

  • colleen

    Paul,

    If that’s what you ‘found’ than I’m not going to argue with you. Indeed it was clear to me that this would be your ‘finding’ after your first reply.

    I normally have a limited amount of time to read or write on blogs and, as I said,  would prefer to not waste my time. 

     

     

     

     

     

    The only difference between the American anti-abortion movement and the Taliban is about 8,000 miles.

    Dr Warren Hern, MD

  • crowepps

    Let me deal with this one first:

    You have good, scientific reasons for promoting xenophobia and for promoting favoritism to the strong. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I have the sense that it’s better to go the other way.

    I have no intention of promoting xenophobia or of promoting favoritism to the strong. Actually, both are at the root of male privilege (men are ‘normal’, women are ‘other’) and the assumption that women are the “service section” of society. What I do instead is recognize that the actual facts of what humanity are like do not support your idealization of what “fully human” means.

    Suppose, in the future, it becomes possible to remove a developing fetus from her/his mother’s uterus and place it in a super-duper incubator until the time of birth arrives. Suppose this removal process was no more painful or dangerous than an abortion. Do you think that the mother ought to have the right to have the fetus destroyed rather than placed it in the incubator if she doesn’t want to raise the child?

    Nope, in that particular case I would think it entirely appropriate to harvest the fetus and allow it to continue growing. I do have to ask, though, WHY do you think society would WANT to do this? Does society have an unmet need for innumerable orphans to support and nurture? Do you think people of the future would be willing to pay high taxes that penalize their own children’s futures in order to conserve those fetuses?

    What am I talking about when I say ‘more fully human’? Suppose you have two families and they both have seriously sick children. Obviously, they all realize that their children are MORE LIKELY THAN NOT going to die. One couple uses this as a reason to neglect their child. The other uses it as a reason to give extra care to their child. Do you think one of those responses is more fully human than the other?

    No, I don’t think one response is “more fully human” than the other. It doesn’t make sense to me to starve your existing children in futile attempts to save the one who has a fatal illness.

    I do have a purpose, though, and that is to encourage these anti-adaptive, ‘fully human’ attitudes.

    You’re going to have to clarify a little more what you mean by ‘fully human’. By your use of the word anti-adaptive, I’m getting the impression that you equate being ‘human’ with martyrdom. Using the phrase “fully human” to describe those who behave in a way that is not normal human behavior prefers the socially constructed myth to the reality and then rejects the reality as ‘unnatural’.

     

    Holding to traditional socially constructed myths is very useful in static, stable societies, particularly where those who are unhappy have no other choices. In dynamic, innovative societies, those traditional myths aren’t as useful. Just as a for-instance, ‘traditional marriage’ with the man as ‘benevolent dictator’ works quite well so long as women are powerless and can only submit or perish (the women’s happiness being biologically irrelevant), but as soon as women have the ability to escape those dictators who prove not to be benevolent (because they can get jobs and control their own assets) the system quickly collapses and men are reluctantly forced to make the choice between being alone or being ‘partners’ instead of tyrants.

  • crowepps

    “A new Spanish-language Ipas publication, La muerte maternal en Nicaragua: La vida de cada mujer cuenta (Maternal death in Nicaragua: The life of every woman counts), outlines the deadly consequences of the ban. The 17-page article, by Ipas Senior Program Associate Karen Padilla, analyzes trends in Nicaragua’s maternal mortality (pregnancy-related deaths). Using statistics from the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health, the article examines the incidence, cause, time, location and other factors in the deaths of pregnant women.

    In 2007, there were 115 maternal deaths recorded in Nicaragua, almost the same number of deaths as were recorded over the previous two years. Padilla’s analysis found that at least 12 of these women died from serious medical conditions aggravated by pregnancy. Access to safe abortion services — which would have been legal before the 2006 ban — would likely have saved these women’s lives, according to Padilla.”
    http://www.ipas.org/Library/News/News_Items/Analyzing_maternal_deaths_in_Nicaragua.aspx

  • crowepps

    Sorry for the snarkiness. I was unnecessarily dismissive because Larry’s appeal to ‘authority’ annoyed me and his continuing assumption that ‘respect’ means ‘not disagreeing with’ infuriates me.

    However, you made this statement:

    I’m a mental health clinician. I have lots of female clients (not that those feelings are any kind of picnic for men). Nobody has to explain to me about the problems women face with depression.

    And now you’ve made these statements:

    I work, full time as a therapist and a social worker with three psychiatrists in practice in the Boston area.
    I’ll be happy to say to you, or to anyone, that I have found that people get depressed and anxious when they feel they have no agency in their life and when they feel disconnected from supportive and mutually caring relationships. The depressed and anxious clients I’ve worked with typically find it hard to believe that can do anything useful for themselves or for others.
    The ‘medicine’ I administer is to find meaningful work (which means doing good for others) and to foster meaningful relationships. We have a very good record of success.
    By the way, I work with clients who are seriously disabled. What you call ‘depression’ from your own experience may be far different from what I’m looking at every day.

    You work with seriously disabled clients, some of whom are women. From the problems with depression of these seriously disabled clients who feel useless you assume that you understand depression in women and that the cure is to “care more” and “behave as if others really mattered”. How does ‘caring more’ provide women with “agency in their life”? How does “behaving as if others really mattered” connect them to supportive and mutually caring relationships? There isn’t anything I can see about ‘caring more’ that addresses the fact that no matter how much women ‘care’, getting that mutual support requires them to demand that the OTHER person in the relationship treat them decently.

     

    The thing I don’t think you’re taking into account is that just like your disabled clients who don’t feel “useful” to others, women are socially conditioned that their role in life is not just to be “useful” to others but to use themselves up entirely in being useful and making everyone else happy and their depression often stems from the fact that this is an IMPOSSIBLE ROLE. No one can succeed in making life perfect, especially for other people, and no one can ‘make’ other people be happy 100% of the time. Your proposed propaganda efforts to encourage women to expand the ‘people’ for whom they should feel responsible to zygotes and to include in their measures of personal/psychological success a 100% successful reproductive effort would in my opinion expand her ‘role strain’ way beyond the breaking point.

     

    The problem with prescribing “care more” when people are already spending most of them time caring for others is that the prescription carries it with an implied diagnosis. Your prescription takes for granted that women don’t care enough already and that the reason they don’t have supportive relationships is because they don’t behave as if others really mattered. It’s been my experience with women struggling with depression that they instead have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility towards others and feel that their ordinary human needs for validation and recognition and reciprocity and agency are inappropriate and ‘selfish’.

     

    I’ve mentioned a number of times in my posts that I’ve been a court reporter for almost 30 years, which is one of the reasons I am pragmatic about ‘humanity’. When you see so much of the absolute worst, mythology about what ‘truly human’ means is revealed as illusion pretty quickly. Idealizations are NOT the truth – they are instead too often unattainable myth.

  • paul

    You took the time to repeat what you have already said, but you couldn’t take 2 minutes to copy and paste even one example from the "mountains of real evidence" to refute my claim?

     

    It’s frustrating.  I am trying to have an honest, productive debate about this topic (arguably the most important topic of our times), and you keep dismissing my arguments instead of refuting them. 

  • paul

    Is there an English translation of Padilla’s article?  The only one I could find is in Spanish, and I never got farther than: El hombre gordo dice, "Mas spaghettis por favor." in high school. 

     

    This report states that in 2007, 12 of the 115 maternal deaths resulted from medical problems compounded by pregnancy.  The problem is, it doesn’t say how that compares to similar pregnancies before the ban.  Maybe there were only 3 deaths due to similar problems, maybe there were 20.  If there were significantly lower deaths from year to year before the ban than after the ban, than we’d see some correlation, which is getting closer to causality.

     

    Furthermore, we don’t know what medical problems these were, whether there were any other procedures other than abortion that could have saved the mothers life, and whether or not those alternatives were attempted.  If there were alternatives to abortion, than the problem is not with the ban, but with getting women access to these alternatives.

     

    If Padilla’s article covers these kind of things, than you have got something that would be strong evidence that laws like Nicaragua’s result in higher rates of maternal mortality.  This would be very helpful when considering how to draft laws that protect both the mother and the child.  The mother’s life is worth every bit as much as the child’s, and is worth equal consideration when writing legislation.

     

    *edit: I just emailed the contact listed at the bottom of your article to see if she had an English copy, I couldn’t find it on the website.  I’ll let you know if I hear back soon.

  • paul-bradford

    Nope, in that particular case I would think it entirely appropriate to harvest the fetus and allow it to continue growing. I do have to ask, though, WHY do you think society would WANT to do this? Does society have an unmet need for innumerable orphans to support and nurture? Do you think people of the future would be willing to pay high taxes that penalize their own children’s futures in order to conserve those fetuses?

     

    I’m so glad you turned your attention to the damage a couple does to the society when they conceive a child they’re not willing to raise.  It is very destructive behavior.  It places an unfair burden on everyone else.  Abortion doesn’t simply make a woman’s problem ‘go away’ — it makes society’s problem ‘go away’.  That’s why you can’t expect to eliminate abortion simply by convincing women not to solve their problems at the expense of the unborn — you also have to convince the society not to solve its problems at the expense of the unborn.  We’re all going to have to make sacrifices if we want to respect life — and eventually we’re going to have to address the root cause which is couples conceiving children they’re not prepared to take responsibility for. 

     

    What I do instead is recognize that the actual facts of what humanity are like do not support your idealization of what "fully human" means.

     

    Kind of reminds you of RFK, doesn’t it?  "Some men see things the way they are and ask, ‘why’.  I dream things that never were and ask ‘why not?’"  (It didn’t sound that sexist in 1968).  The ‘actual facts of what humanity is like’ involve the strong persecuting the weak and everyone lashing out against people who aren’t ‘just like them’.  I certainly know that you don’t promote these ‘actual facts’ — the facts come from natural selection.  I’m suggesting that we don’t have to be enslaved by our genetic heritage. 

     

    It doesn’t make sense to me to starve your existing children in futile attempts to save the one who has a fatal illness.

     

    I don’t know you well, crowepps, but I know you well enough to know that that’s BS.  If you had a sick child and a well child you would do everything you could to make the sick child’s life as good as it could be — even if it meant giving the sick child more attention than the well child. 

     

    In dynamic, innovative societies, those traditional myths aren’t as useful.

     

    Our dynamic, innovative society has inherited a ‘traditional myth’ about a good shepherd walking away from ninety nine sheep who can get by on their own in order to save one sheep who is in trouble.  Is that one of those non-useful myths? 

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice